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Dutch authorities said Saturday they believe omicron cases are among 61 passengers on two flights from South Africa who tested positive for COVID-19 Friday.

The passengers who tested positive are being isolated as authorities conduct further investigation into the cases, some of which they say are likely the highly transmissible new variant that originated in South Africa.

More than 500 other passengers on the flights from Cape Town and Johannesburg into Amsterdam have tested negative and were allowed to return home or continue traveling. Those who returned home in the Netherlands were instructed to self-isolate for five days in case of an incubation period.

"In a number of the tested persons the omicron variant is presumed to have been found," the Netherlands Institute for Health (RIVM) said in a statement to Reuters .

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An RIVM spokesperson added it was "almost certain" the cases were of the new variant, but further testing was needed in order to confirm it.

A spokesperson for KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France, said the planes required a vaccination card or proof of a negative test. As such, authorities are not sure where the cases have come from, but they suspect some of the positive cases were among the vaccinated people.

The United States, the Netherlands, and other countries restricted the flights coming out of Africa after the new variant surfaced. The World Health Organization has labeled the omicron variant a "variant of concern ."

Hong Kong, Israel , Botswana, England , Germany, Italy, Belgium, and the Czech Republic have found cases of the omicron variant.

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The Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced the closure of nightclubs, bars, and stores as the country sees a rise in cases among school children, who have not been vaccinated.

More than 70% of the adult population in the Netherlands has been vaccinated .

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Tags: south africa news netherlands south africa coronavirus pandemic surge who tested positive for covid the omicron variant in the netherlands the netherlands the new variant been vaccinated passengers south africa flights the flights

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Frosh Warns Of Companies Going Door-To-Door To Test For COVID-19

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh is warning residents of companies offering door-to-door COVID-19 testing, saying people who took the tests have reported not receiving results after several weeks and do not know if their personal information is secure.

“We are monitoring these activities, but consumers should be on the alert and are urged to protect themselves against identity theft and scams by only getting tested at approved testing sites or using an FDA-authorized at home test,” said Frosh.

Today our Consumer Protection Division issued an alert to beware of door-to-door COVID testing. You should only get tested at approved COVID testing sites or use an FDA-authorized at-home test. Read the full alert here: https://t.co/2ARgNrkLPN

— Brian Frosh (@BrianFrosh) January 27, 2022

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The attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division advised Marylanders to only get tested on approved sites listed on the state’s website, covidtest.maryland.gov. or to use FDA-approved at-home kits.

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Local health departments should also have information available on testing locations.

Anyone who has concerns after being tested by someone going door-to-door should contact the e Maryland Attorney General’s Identity Theft Unit.

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