By Vivian Sequera
CARACAS (Reuters) -Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday that seven cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus 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.
(Reporting by Vivian SequeraWriting by Julia Symmes CobbEditing by Leslie Adler and Diane Craft)