Portugal probes local transmission of omicron at soccer team

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portuguese nicely being authorities on Monday acknowledged 13 cases of omicron, the model new coronavirus variant spreading fast globally, amongst members of a first-rate soccer membership and have been investigating whether or not or not it was one of the first reported cases of local transmission of the virus open air of southern Africa.

The Ricardo Jorge National Health Institute acknowledged that one of people who examined constructive was a participant from the Lisbon-based Belenenses SAD soccer membership who had not too way back traveled to South Africa, the place the omicron variant was first acknowledged. The others had not reportedly traveled to southern Africa, the place most of the cases have been recorded up to now.

Those who’ve been in contact with the constructive cases have been ordered to isolate, regardless of their vaccination standing or their publicity to potential contagion, and might be generally examined for COVID-19, the institute acknowledged.

Portugal’s nicely being regular director, Graça Freitas, acknowledged that the avid gamers of Lisbon’s best team, Benfica, which carried out Belenenses SAD on Saturday, may even be examined for the virus.

“Since this could be a new variant, we now should tighten the controls,” Freitas suggested the local TSF radio.

Asked about whether or not or not the game should have been allowed, the official acknowledged that nicely being authorities don’t decide over expert soccer video video games and that it was the golf gear themselves who made the choice.

The Primeira Liga match started with merely 9 Belenenses SAD avid gamers on the pitch — two fewer than the game requires — in consequence of coronavirus outbreak. But the referee suspended the game merely after half-time, with Benfica most important 7-0, when solely seven Belenenses SAD avid gamers took the sphere and the squad then misplaced one different participant.

Club president Rui Pedro Soares acknowledged that regardless of having a decimated squad, his membership had not requested for the game to be postponed.

Benfica acknowledged that its avid gamers have been examined on Monday as they normally are every week and that outcomes have been anticipated later throughout the day. It acknowledged the membership had not obtained any requests to cancel Saturday’s recreation and league protocols have been adopted.


Benfica’s subsequent scheduled match is the Primeira Liga derby in the direction of Sporting Lisbon on Friday.

Portugal moreover found two constructive coronavirus cases when it screened 218 passengers who arrived in Lisbon on a flight from the capital of Mozambique on Saturday. One of the cases was the delta variant and the alternative one couldn’t be established, authorities acknowledged.

Despite having one of the easiest vaccination prices in Europe, with 86.6% of its 10.3 million residents having obtained two coronavirus jabs, authorities in Portugal have tightened pandemic restrictions amid a modern rise in infections.

Starting on Wednesday, sporting a face masks will as quickly as as soon as extra be mandatory in enclosed areas and digital certificates proving vaccination or restoration from the coronavirus ought to be confirmed to enter consuming locations, cinemas and motels.

The new measures moreover make a unfavorable examine finish end result mandatory for everyone arriving on a flight from abroad.

The General Directorate for Health formally reported 2,897 new cases on Sunday, with 764 people in hospital, 104 in intensive care objects and 12 deaths. Over 18,400 people have died of COVID-19 in Portugal as a result of the beginning of the pandemic.


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