Mexico records the first case of Omicron variant of COVID-19

Mexico confirmed on Friday its first case of the new omicron variant in the country. The Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell, has reported that it is a 51-year-old person who had been in South Africa.

The patient, who is admitted to a private hospital in Mexico City, has mild symptoms of the disease, so he is stable and out of danger, said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. According to health authorities, the man has voluntarily decided to stay in the medical center to avoid spreading infections.

In his early morning conference, López Obrador had anticipated the likely first omicron case, but confirmation was still lacking. “You had that concern. But hey, it is very likely that this new variant will be presented in the country ”. The president had stressed that omicron has already been in the neighboring United States and Canada. A few moments later it was López-Gatell, the most visible head of Mexico in the fight against the pandemic, who confirmed that Mexico had a positive of the new strain.

López Obrador, who on Wednesday celebrated three years in office at the Zócalo square in Mexico City in front of tens of thousands of followers, has minimized the risk of the new strain: “That does not mean that there are more risks, or as it was said, that vaccines did not work. That is why there should be no concern, much less sensationalism from the media to scare”. He has even ventured to point out that “this variant is not harmful”: “It is not more dangerous than the other variants, until now.”

The omicron variant was detected a week ago by South African scientists. The international panic reaction caused a drop in the stock markets around the world and the closure of borders for travelers from southern Africa in the countries of the European Union or in Israel and the United States. This new strain has a very high number of mutations that make it a concern for the World Health Organization (WHO).

Mexico has ruled out that borders will be closed despite this possible first confirmed case, nor will travel restrictions or drastic measures be imposed, such as mandatory quarantines or curfews. López Obrador insists on calling for calm after the emergence of omicron due to the number of vaccines applied in the country. The country thus maintains the lax and heterodox approach that has characterized its strategy against covid since the outbreak of the pandemic in which immunization has become the cornerstone of the fight against the virus.

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