FILE PHOTO: People wait outside a parking lot of the Bolivarian University of Venezuela, turned into a mass vaccination center to receive their first dose of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Caracas, Venezuela June 5, 2021. REUTERS/Leonardo Fernandez Viloria
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday that seven cases of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 have been detected in the South American country.
All the cases occurred in people who had traveled from other countries, including Panama, Dominican Republic, Spain, and Turkey, and got positive test results at the airport, Maduro said on state television.
“Omicron has arrived, it is more contagious,” he said.
Maduro added his government wants to vaccinate 90% of the Venezuelan population by the end of the year and to begin giving out booster shots in the first week of January.
The government says it has already vaccinated up to 87% of the population, but the Pan American Health Organization, an arm of the World Health Organization, estimates the figure is just above 40%.
The most-used COVID-19 vaccines in Venezuela are China’s Sinopharm and Russia’s Sputnik.
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