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13 Omicron Cases Found in Portuguese Soccer Team

13 Omicron Cases Found in Portuguese Soccer Team

Monday, 29 November, 2021 - 10:00
Syringes with needles are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words "Omicron SARS-CoV-2" in this illustration taken, November 27, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/file photo

Portuguese health authorities said Monday they have identified 13 cases of omicron, the new coronavirus variant, among team members of a professional soccer club.

The Ricardo Jorge National Health Institute said that one of those who tested positive at the Lisbon-based Belenenses soccer club had recently traveled to South Africa, where the omicron variant was first identified.

Belenenses defender Cafu Phete tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to Portugal last week from international duty in South Africa, it said.

The others, however, had not traveled to South Africa, indicating that this may be one of the very first cases of local transmission of the virus outside of southern Africa.

Those who have been in contact with the positive cases have been ordered to isolate, regardless of their vaccination status or their exposure to possible contagion, and will be regularly tested for COVID-19, the institute said.

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