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Yucatán’s first official Omicron case: Mérida man quarantined

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Booster shots for Yucatán residents over 60 were administered in Baca, Homún, Cansahcab, Abalá, Hocabá, Celestún, Panabá, and Akil. Photo: Courtesy

The Yucatán Ministry of Health reported the state’s first suspected case of the Omicron variant.

The quick-spreading variant has likely been in Yucatán for weeks as tourists have come and gone freely over the holidays. In the United States and other countries, Omicron has spiked daily cases to historic levels while the public was primed to ring in the new year.

The patient, a 35-year-old Mérida man, is under observation and is quarantined at home, showing mild symptoms. He is fully vaccinated and has traveled to Mexico City.

While the state remains on low-level “green” alert, health authorities ask the population to avoid unnecessary travel and avoid social gatherings at the end of the year.

While the vaccination does not guarantee a complete shield from infection, it has been shown to reduce the severity of illness or the likelihood of requiring hospital care. Booster shots for residents over 60 were administered in Baca, Homún, Cansahcab, Abalá, Hocabá, Celestún, Panabá, and Akil.

Major flight cancellations connected to the COVID-19 Omicron variant outbreak continue because of industry-wide staffing shortages.

As of this morning, 1,007 flights into, out of and within the U.S. had been canceled, according to tracking service FlightAware.

Among them is today’s 5:05 p.m. flight from Houston to Mérida. Flights between Mérida and Miami were still on track.

Cuban vaccine OK’d

Mexico announced Wednesday that it has approved Cuba’s three-dose Abdala coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

The federal health safety council said it had sufficient evidence the vaccine is safe and effective.

The approval does not necessarily mean the Mexican government will acquire or administer Abdala in Mexico. Mexico has approved 10 vaccines for use, but has made little use of some, including China’s Sinopharm.

Cuba administers Abdala domestically and began commercial exports to Vietnam and Venezuela.

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