The omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which has caused millions of infections worldwide, is already circulating in Nicaragua and is responsible for most of the infections verified by the Ministry of Health, followed by the delta variant. This was reported this Wednesday by Dr. Ciro Ugarte, director of Medical Emergencies of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), through a virtual press conference.
In “Nicaragua, according to official reports, through the official channels of international health regulations and which are available to all countries, there is a slight increase in positive cases of covid-19 in the country and, in summary, the characterization of the cases of the positive samples that have been sequenced, the majority correspond to the female sex and the most affected age groups are from 30 to 50 years, followed by those over 50. In this context, as I have mentioned, in channels of the international health regulation, Nicaragua confirmed the circulation of the omicron variant and that today most of the positive samples of SARS-CoV-2 correspond to that variant and to a lesser extent to the delta variant,” said Ugarte.
Ugarte considered that, like other countries in the region where this variant was identified, it will be present “progressively throughout the country” and that therefore “it is essential to maintain protection measures, in particular the adequate, permanent use of masks in public environments, maintain physical distance, avoid crowds, particularly in places where […] the environment is closed and it can make transmission more possible, increase transmission,” said Ugarte, while urging people with symptoms associated with covid-19 to protect themselves even more.
CNN requested a reaction from the Ministry of Health, through the Communication and Citizenship Council, we are still waiting for a response. Until now, the health authorities have not officially recognized the circulation of the omicron variant in the country. In its latest report on January 25, the Ministry of Health reported only 46 new cases, 5 more cases than the previous week, and reported one death from covid-19.
The Nicaraguan health authorities report a total of 18,052 cases and only 222 deaths since the arrival of the virus in March 2020. In contrast, the Covid19 citizen observatory registers, until January 12, 5,970 people who have died from pneumonia or covid-19 and 31,392 suspected infections since the arrival of the coronavirus in the country.
Childhood vaccination advances
During the press conference this Wednesday, the deputy director of PAHO, Jarbas Barbosa said that Nicaragua received 5.2 million doses of vaccines against covid-19, through the Covax mechanism, not including donations from other countries and purchases not detailed. .
Barbosa added that vaccination in children from 2 to 11 years old in the first dose reaches 67% and between 12 and 17, 47%. According to PAHO, Nicaragua is close to achieving 50% of its total population vaccinated.