New Omicron variant – first EU country to be rolled over

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After a substantial spread, Omicron subvariant BA.5, first detected in late March, is now the predominant variant in Portugal.

Corona case numbers recently increased again in Portugal. Between May 10 and 16, authorities registered 157,502 new cases – 58 percent more than the previous week. Experts also assume that the number of unreported cases is high.

“In reality, there could be twice as many cases,” said the president of the Association of Public Health Service Doctors, Gustavo Tato Borges. He also said the number of deaths rose again in the second week of May.

The lifting of many Corona measures accelerated the spread of BA.5. In Portugal, mandatory mask use indoors has been lifted since April 21. Only public transport and medical facilities such as hospitals still require masks to be worn. The government has decided to resume offering free rapid tests in pharmacies to stop the resurgence.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) had recently warned that the omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5, first detected in South Africa, could lead to a resurgence in the number of cases.

  • source: heute.at/picture: pixabay.com
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