Chile says detects first case of Omicron variant of the coronavirus

Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Santiago

SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Chilean health authorities reported on Saturday that they detected the first case of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in a person who had arrived in the copper-producing South American country from Africa.

The foreign patient residing in Chile arrived in the country on Nov. 25 from Ghana with a recently-taken negative COVID-19 test. But a subsequent test taken upon arrival in Chile was positive and then sequenced.

“The passenger, who had two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, is currently in good health and fulfilling his isolation,” the secretary of health of the Valparaiso region in Chile said in a statement.

Chile has had a decrease in infections in recent weeks thanks to its massive vaccination program.

(Reporting by Fabian Cambero, writing by Hugh Bronstein; Editing by Alistair Bell)

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