Covid: Omicron variant spotted in Europe as soon as November 19th

Published by Manon C. · Published on 2 December 2021 at 16h52
The Dutch health authorities claim they have spotted the Omicron variant in a test collected this past November 19th, namely over 10 days ago and before the first reports in South Africa.

The question as to when the new Covid-19 variant, the Omicron variant arrived in Europe, has the health authorities, the drugmakers and the world population worried, and is still unanswered. As Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and even France – that announced the first case in Reunion this November 30th – have all reported new Omicron variant contaminations, the latter was thought to have broken out 5 days ago in South Africa, but it could have been actually around on the European territory for much longer.

As a matter of fact, this Tuesday November 30, 2021, the Dutch health authorities have announced they have found the Omicron variant in a sample collected this past November 19, namely over 10 days ago and before the first reports made by South Africa to the World Health Organization.

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) issued a public release reading they have “found the Omicron variant in test samples taken in the Netherlands […] on 19 and 23 November 2021”. Further research has been launched to understand how much the variant has spread.

According to the RIVM: “It is not yet clear whether these people had also visited southern Africa. […] There will be various studies in the near future to monitor the spread of the Omicron variant in the Netherlands”.

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