Authorities "suspect" that a new strain of Covid-19 is circulating in Tavira

Samples were sent to the National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge

Photo: Flávio Costa | Sul Informação

Health authorities suspect that the new strain of Covid-19, initially detected in the UK, is at the origin of the exponential increase in cases in the municipality of Tavira.

Ana Cristina Guerreiro, Regional Health Delegate, revealed this Friday, at the press conference to update the epidemiological situation in the Algarve, who have already followed samples to the National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge (INSA) for analysis.

According to the official, the municipality of Tavira, in the Algarve, is the one «that inspires the greatest concern due to the higher incidence rate and the sudden increase in cases».

Epidemiological research indicates that "the initial focus was on a gym and that, after that initial group, people celebrated Christmas with their families, which generated this large rise in cases."

Photos: Nuno Costa|Sul Informação

Faced with the "rapid and large" increase in cases in the municipality of Tavira, the Health authorities put the hypothesis of the presence of the new strain of the virus.

“We haven't come to any conclusions, but we suspect it's happening. As we know that the new variant has a higher transmissibility, we put this hypothesis”, said Ana Cristina Guerreiro.

To clear up the doubts, samples of infections in the municipality of Tavira have already been followed by the INSA, in situations "which we detected in which a case gave rise to a greater number of infections", said Paulo Morgado, president of the Regional Health Administration.

According to the official, currently “the dominant variant in Portugal initially appeared in Spain and represents 60% of transmissions. There are several hundred variants and they are always coming up. This England variant is a strain that is already present throughout Europe, is highly transmissible and has a tendency to grow».

Despite that, recalled Paulo Morgado, "it is a variant that, as far as is known, does not increase the severity of the disease and which, in terms of transmission capacity compared to the Spanish variant, is not much greater," he concluded.


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