Around 53% of COVID-19 positive cases detected in almost all districts located in Metropolitan Lima and Callao region are suspected to be the Omicron variant, National Health Institute (INS) Chief Victor Suarez
"We estimate that 7.6% of the current (COVID-19) cases nationwide are caused by the Omicron variant and that, according to the surveillance of suspected Omicron mutations, the frequency in such cases has likely increased to 53% in Lima and Callao," he stated.
According to the head of INS, Omicron confirmed cases have been detected in the districts of Santiago de Surco, San Isidro, Miraflores, La Molina, Puente Piedra, Carabayllo, Comas, Villa Maria del Triunfo, Los Olivos, San Juan de Miraflores, San Juan de Lurigancho, Ate, and Bellavista (in Callao).
In this sense, he noted that this situation is becoming a concern among health authorities because this means that the Omicron variant might be spreading to other regions across Peru.
"As stated before, (Omicron) cases have been reported in Piura, Ancash, Ica, La Libertad, Arequipa, Loreto, and in Huanuco, where a COVID-19 case is under investigation. This variant is spreading rapidly," Suarez remarked.
After confirming that, to date, 309 cases of Omicron had been confirmed in Peru, Suarez explained that this variant has immune evasion, which causes previously infected people or those who received any of the vaccine doses to develop the disease.
"Obviously, the vaccine protects us against infection anyway and much more against severe disease. That is, three doses are 75% effective in preventing Omicron infection and 88% effective in preventing hospitalizations," he noted.
For this reason, the INS representative reiterated the importance of receiving the third dose of the vaccine, especially in the case of people over 60 years of age, who are generally the most vulnerable.