Health officials in the Netherlands have thrown a spanner in the works with some brand-spanking new information about the Omicron variant that has put into question the location of the disease’s origin and our current border restrictions solely with South Africa.
According to the National Institute for Public Health, or RIVM (which stands for Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu, if you were curious) the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was actually vibing around in the Netherlands a whole week before South African scientists declared the existence of the new strain.
Per the ABC, Dutch health officials from RIVM have detected that there was in fact an Omicron case in the Netherlands on Nov 19, which even predates the first batch of Omicron cases they detected from flights coming in from Johannesburg and Cape Town on Nov 26.
“We have found the Omicron coronavirus variant in two test samples that were taken on November 19 and November 23,” RIVM said in a statement.
“It is not clear yet whether these people have visited southern Africa.”
What is known however is that from these two individuals, one of them hadn’t visited South Africa at all. Y’know what this means folks, Omicron has been spreading in places that aren’t South Africa, which means, just like we said a few days ago, that the government’s decision to place a strict lockdown on only South Africa is undeniably racist.
“One of the two had a travel history to South Africa, the other did not. This means that this person most likely picked the Omicron variant up in the Netherlands,” RIVM’s Chantal Reusken told the ABC.
“The size of the chain of transmission is not known yet… currently we are looking into this.”
Meanwhile, 61 individuals in the Netherlands have tested positive with COVID-19 out of 600 passengers coming in from South Africa.
“The Omicron variant was found in 14 of those people,” RIVM said.
“Laboratory tests identified several different strains of the Omicron variant.
“This means the people were very probably infected independently from each other, from different sources and in different locations.”
Sure, the Omicron variant may be prominent in South Africa, but to ignore other countries that are currently carrying on with confirmed cases and only closing the Aussie borders to SA, we’re making our racism rather obvious, don’t you think?