Dutch police say they’ve arrested couple who were trying to flee Covid quarantine

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  • Dutch border police have said they have arrested and detained a couple who were trying to leave the country after leaving a quarantine hotel.
  • According to Dutch media reports, the couple, a man from Spain and a woman from Portugal, were asked to quarantine after testing positive for Covid on their arrival in the Netherlands on a flight from South Africa.

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Dutch border police have said they have arrested and detained a couple who were trying to leave the country after leaving a coronavirus quarantine hotel.

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According to Dutch media reports, the couple, a man from Spain and a woman from Portugal, were asked to quarantine after testing positive for Covid on their arrival in the Netherlands on a flight from South Africa.

However, the couple left their designated Covid hotel on Sunday, and were arrested on a plane at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport just before departing for Spain.

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The Royal Netherlands Marechausi, a national police force in the Netherlands, said on Twitter on Sunday that it had “arrested a couple this evening who fled a quarantine hotel. The arrests took place on a plane that was about to take off. Both men GGD has been transferred” the police said, referring to the municipal health service.

Het Parul, an Amsterdam daily newspaper, reported that the couple left the hotel in the Kennemerland area in the country’s northwest at around 6 p.m. on Sunday and security guards informed Marechousie about their departure.

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Shortly after, he was arrested on the plane “almost silently and without violence,” according to a police spokesman.

The Public Prosecution Service would later decide whether the couple would be prosecuted. It is not clear whether one of the couple infected with Covid tested positive for the Omicron variant, which was labeled “of concern” by the World Health Organization last Friday.

Still, the couple’s arrests come as the Netherlands – a country already grappling with a surge in Covid cases and pressure on its healthcare – was found to be among a handful of people traveling to the country from South Africa. Omicron is on high alert for cases since the time the variant was first discovered.

On Friday, a total of 624 passengers who arrived in Schiphol from South Africa were tested for coronavirus by health officials. 61 of them tested positive for the virus and 13 of them were found to have the Omicron variant, Dutch Public Health Authority, or RIVM. According to,

It has called on all visitors from South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe to be tested, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms. The South African doctor who first saw the Omicron version said the symptoms he had observed in his patients were extremely mild, making it easy to miss.

Read more: South African doctor who first saw Omicron Covid variant explains symptoms

The Netherlands is not the only country to have detected such cases. Cases have been found in several southern African countries (the variant was first observed in South Africa) and also in the UK, France, Israel, and Belgium. Germany, Italy, Australia, Canada and Hong Kong, but none in the US yet

There are many big unknowns about the variant, the WHO said on Monday. First, experts don’t yet know how permeable the variant is and whether any increases are related to immune evasion, intrinsically enhanced transmissibility, or both.

read more: Omicron COVID variant poses ‘very high’ global risk and potential to spread, warns WHO

Second, there is uncertainty about how well vaccines protect against infection, transmission, and clinical disease and death of varying severity. And third, there is uncertainty about whether the variant presents with a different severity profile.

The WHO has said it will take weeks to understand how the variant could affect diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines. Preliminary evidence suggests that stress increases the risk of reinfection.

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