Cuba detects first Omicron case - state media ACN

Spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Cuba
People walk under a Cuban flag at a commercial area amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Havana, Cuba, August 3, 2021. Picture taken August 3, 2021. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

HAVANA, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Cuba has detected its first case of the Omicron coronavirus variant in a person who had traveled from Mozambique, Cuban state media agency ACN reported late on Wednesday.

The traveler, a health worker that resides in Cuba's Pinar del Rio province, returned to the island on Nov. 27 and tested positive for COVID-19 the following day, according to the ACN report.

Cuban health officials identified 18 people the traveler may have been in contact with since arriving in Cuba, but all were asymptomatic and had tested negative for the virus, the report said.

Cuba, a Caribbean island nation whose economy hinges on tourism, sharply eased entry requirements for tourists in mid-November following a successful inoculation drive with domestically developed vaccines. Infections from COVID-19 have dropped off to 1% of their peak, according to a Reuters tally.

Cuba nonetheless tightened restrictions again last week on passengers from certain African countries and others where Omicron had been detected amid the global scare over the new variant. read more

Reporting by Nelson Gonzalez, Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Jacqueline Wong and Stephen Coates

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.