SANTIAGO, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- Chile on Monday said it had detected over 1,000 cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, reporting a total of 1,046 cases, including cases of community transmission.
At a press conference, Undersecretary of Public Health Maria Teresa Valenzuela said the recent rise in the number of infections could be traced to the Omicron variant.
Of the 1,046 infections registered, 944 appeared to have caught the variant while traveling, 18 from close contacts, and 84 through community transmission, said Valenzuela.
A significant portion of cases detected at Santiago's international airport involved the Omicron variant, she said, adding "about 82 percent of Omicron infections have been detected at airports."
The South American country registered over 4,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 for the third consecutive day, reporting 4,069, and 13 more deaths from the disease in the past 24 hours, bringing the total caseload to 1,833,478 and the pandemic death toll to 39,285, according to the Ministry of Health.
On Monday, Chile began to apply a second booster shot against COVID-19 in order to increase the population's protection against the Omicron variant amid the Southern Hemisphere's summer tourism season.