Portugal Probes Local Transmission of Omicron at Soccer Team

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LISBON, Portugal—Portuguese wellness authorities connected Monday identified 13 cases of omicron, the caller coronavirus variant spreading accelerated globally, among members of a apical soccer nine and were investigating whether it was 1 of the archetypal reported cases of section transmission of the microorganism extracurricular of confederate Africa.

The Ricardo Jorge National Health Institute said that 1 of those who tested affirmative was a subordinate from the Lisbon-based Belenenses SAD shot nine who had precocious traveled to South Africa, wherever the omicron variant was archetypal identified. The others had not reportedly traveled to confederate Africa, wherever astir of the cases person been recorded truthful far.

Those who person been successful interaction with the affirmative cases person been ordered to isolate, careless of their vaccination presumption oregon their vulnerability to imaginable contagion, and volition beryllium regularly tested for COVID-19, the institute said.

Portugal’s wellness wide director, Graça Freitas, said that the players of Lisbon’s biggest team, Benfica, which played Belenenses SAD connected Saturday, volition besides beryllium tested for the virus.

“Since this is simply a caller variant, we person to tighten the controls,” Freitas told the section TSF radio.

Asked astir whether the crippled should person been allowed, the authoritative said that wellness authorities don’t determine implicit nonrecreational shot games and that it was the clubs themselves who made the call.

The Primeira Liga lucifer started with conscionable 9 Belenenses SAD players connected the pitch—two less than the crippled calls for—due to the coronavirus outbreak. But the referee suspended the crippled conscionable aft half-time, with Benfica starring 7-0, erstwhile lone 7 Belenenses SAD players took the tract and the squad past mislaid different player.

Club president Rui Pedro Soares said that contempt having a decimated squad, his nine had not asked for the crippled to beryllium postponed.

Benfica said that its players were tested connected Monday arsenic they usually are each week and that results were expected aboriginal successful the day. It said the nine had not received immoderate requests to cancel Saturday’s crippled and league protocols were followed.

Benfica’s adjacent scheduled lucifer is the Primeira Liga derby against Sporting Lisbon connected Friday.

Portugal besides recovered 2 affirmative coronavirus cases erstwhile it screened 218 passengers who arrived successful Lisbon connected a formation from the superior of Mozambique connected Saturday. One of the cases was the delta variant and the different 1 couldn’t beryllium established, authorities said.

Despite having 1 of the highest vaccination rates successful Europe, with 86.6 percent of its 10.3 cardinal residents having received 2 coronavirus jabs, authorities successful Portugal person tightened pandemic restrictions amid a caller emergence successful infections.

Starting connected Wednesday, wearing a look disguise volition erstwhile again beryllium mandatory successful enclosed spaces, and integer certificates proving vaccination oregon betterment from the coronavirus indispensable beryllium shown to participate restaurants, cinemas, and hotels.

The caller measures besides marque a antagonistic trial effect mandatory for everyone arriving connected a formation from abroad.

The General Directorate for Health officially reported 2,897 caller cases connected Sunday, with 764 radical successful hospital, 104 successful intensive attraction units and 12 deaths. Over 18,400 radical person died of COVID-19 successful Portugal since the opening of the pandemic.

By Aritz Parra and Helena Alves

The Associated Press