Caracas, Mar 3 (efe-epa).- The Venezuelan authorities have detected the Brazilian variant of Covid-19 in the country and are evaluating the spread of infection, President Nicolás Maduro reported on Wednesday.
“We have detected in Venezuela the presence of the Brazilian variant of Covid-19 (…) it is a variant that is more contagious,” Maduro said on the state channel VTV.
Ten cases have been detected so far – six in the southern state of Bolívar, bordering Brazil, two in Caracas and two in Miranda, which houses part of the metropolitan area of ??the capital. The government is determining if there are more.
“We are trying to determine the magnitude with PCR studies in places where the cases are,” he said.
He indicated that people who have tested positive are already isolated, and their contacts are being followed up.
The new strain was found after a worker at Maiquetía International Airport, which serves Caracas, presented “strange” symptoms a fortnight ago.
After studies were carried out on the infected person, it was concluded to be the Brazilian strain, Maduro said.
He asked the presidential commission taking measures to contain the virus to evaluate the possibility of vaccinating against Covid-19 in the areas where the Brazilian variant has been found.
Maduro urged people in hotspots of the variant to get vaccinated, and said that government medical teams will enter each area to cut chains of transmission.
“It is a permanent battle and we are here to protect you all … if I take care of myself, I take care of you, if you take care of yourself, you take care of me,” he added.
Venezuela has so far recorded 140,000 Covid-19 infections since the start of the pandemic in March last year and accumulated 1,353 deaths. EFE-EPA