Uruguay detects Brazilian Covid-19 variant in seven departments

Uruguay detects Brazilian Covid-19 variant in seven departments
Photo: Felipe Caparros/Shutterstock

The Uruguayan government announced the detection of the P.1. coronavirus mutation — the so-called “Brazilian variant” — in seven of the country’s departments. The viral alteration was found in 24 different samples and forced President Luis Lacalle Pou to summon his cabinet and health authorities to discuss their next steps. 

Speaking to news website El Observador, Health Minister Daniel Salinas said Brazil faces a “very serious problem” regarding the variant. 

March has been Uruguay’s lowest point of the coronavirus pandemic, with all-time records of new cases and deaths, as The Brazilian Report explained. Local experts admit that the peak of cases in Uruguay could be directly linked to the health catastrophe in Brazil. 

Uruguay’s rising Covid-19 curve began in December and worsened over the end-of-year holiday period. Fearing the spread of the Brazilian variant, Uruguay invested in tracking the virus at the border and vaccinating dual citizens in frontier regions. 

Now, Uruguay is placing all its chips on its vaccination program, which began on March 1 and is advancing fast. As of Monday, more than 344,000 people have received a jab, accounting for almost 10 percent of Uruguay’s 3.5 million population. 

“The more people are vaccinated, the less likely the variant is to spread in Uruguay,” said one Uruguayan health official.

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