Mexican authorities have confirmed the first case of the new coronavirus variant as the country’s caseload and fatality toll continues to increase unabated.
On Sunday, Secretary of Health of Tamaulipas Gloria Molina Gamboa said that the 56-year-old patient was identified when he arrived from Mexico City on December 29, 2020, Xinhua news agency reported.
The official called for implementing “extreme” precautions and strengthening preventive measures against the disease such as the use of face masks, frequent hand washing, and staying home when possible, as it has been confirmed that the variant is more contagious than the original strain.
The B.1.1.7 variant that the patient carries appeared for the first time in Britain late last year.
All passengers and crew from the patient’s flight were tested, though no other test came out positive.
Mexico reported 10,003 new cases with 502 more fatalities on Sunday, according to Health Ministry data.
The country’s overall caseload and death toll currently stood at 1,534,039 and 133,706, respectively.
Mexico’s Covid-19 caseload now ranks the fourth among Latin American countries, following Brazil, Colombia and Argentina in order, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.
The death toll is the fourth highest in the world, after the US, Brazil and India.