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Omicron variant: Government rules out closing borders



Chile Publimetro


© Charles Krupa
Chile Publimetro

The Undersecretary of Healthcare Networks, Alberto Dougnac, referred to the first confirmed case of the omicron variant of covid-19, ensuring that it is in good condition and ruling out modifications to the Protected Borders plan.

It was this Saturday when the Seremi de Salud de Valparaíso reported the first infected with the new strain of coronavirus in Chile. This is a person from Ghana who entered the national territory on November 25, who tested positive at the airport and was later referred to a medical residence.

In this regard, Dougnac explained that “the World Health Organization points out this variant as being of concern on 24 (November). This person at the same time is entering our country, when we still had no knowledge of his existence. “

Later, he detailed that “the strict protocol that we have in our safe border plan, which makes all the people who enter the country who must have a PCR test, showed a positive PCR in Chile, despite the fact that he had a previous negative PCR ”.

“From that, this patient was notified that he should quarantine, and as we usually do, all samples from those patients who come to our country and are positive are processed at the Institute of Public Health for genomic sequencing” added.

After the process that demonstrated that the individual had the omicron variant, Dougnac explained that “immediately the rest of the measures that are contemplated in our protocols are taken, which is the identification of all those people who had been close contacts, both those who they transported from the airport to his home, the people at his home and also those who were in the seats near his flight.

Later, the health authority referred to possible changes to the Protected Borders plan: “We have not contemplated the closure of borders, beyond those that were initially restricted in countries that had more or less important outbreaks of this variant.”

Along these lines, he remarked that the current protocol states that “everyone, before entering Chile, will have to undergo their PCR test and maintain the restriction until the result is negative.”

“In those cases where it is positive, this sample is immediately sent to the Institute of Public Health and the person has to keep quarantine at their home or health residence until the result of that sequence is obtained, and doing the epidemiological follow-up of close contacts” , he complemented.

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