In total, about 400 thousand cases of the disease have been registered in Portugal.
A new variant of the coronavirus, associated with a rapid increase in the incidence of the disease in the UK, was discovered on Madeira’s Portuguese island. This is the first case of a more contagious variant of the country appearing after it was detected.
The regional office for protecting civilians said in a statement on Sunday that the new variant was “found in travelers arriving in Madeira from the United Kingdom.” The statement did not specify the number of people infected or when the cases were identified.
“The detection was only made possible by the work done by the screening center at Madeira International airport, which allows tracking, identifying positive cases, and sending those infected to isolation,” the statement said.
Portugal, home to just over 10 million people, has recorded 394,573 cases of coronavirus infection and 6,619 deaths. After a relatively mild first wave, the incidence increased sharply in the second, although it has recently subsided somewhat.
Preliminary analysis of the new variant showed that it does not complicate the disease’s course and is not accompanied by more severe symptoms, but is considered more contagious than other variants currently circulating.
In connection with the new option, Portugal, following other EU countries, announced the closure of its borders to travelers from the UK, except for those already registered as residents and Portuguese citizens living in the UK.