A major hospital near the Portuguese capital will implement a two-week closure of multiple children’s wards after a doctor there tested positive for the Covid-19 Omicron variant, with dozens now in quarantine amid a new outbreak.
According to a Reuters statement, Garcia de Orta Hospital in Almada (about 12km (7 miles) South of Lisbon) said Tuesday that they would temporarily shutter its pediatric emergency and outpatient department. The reason was a single Omicron infection. For 14 days, the wards will be closed.
The hospital reported that 28 individuals believed to be infected were now being isolated. Another 69 Omicron-infected people are also currently under quarantine.
Garcia de Orta doctors who were positive Tuesday are also on the medical team of Belenenses SAD, which is a football league in top division. According to health officials, twelve other Omicron cases were also detected in the team on Monday. One athlete from the team has recently returned to South Africa where Omicron infections first became apparent earlier in the month.
The new designation has been made official by the World Health Organization. “variant of concern”Soumya Swminathan, Omicron’s chief scientist, stated last week that Omicron has a high number of mutations within its spike protein. The mechanism through which coronavirus hijacks host-cells and causes infections, was noted by Swaminathan. Omicron has caused alarm in the world and is now causing travel restrictions as well as bans on certain countries. However, there are still questions about whether this new strain of coronavirus will be more deadly or more dangerous than the ones that have been seen previously. Researchers are racing to find out if the new variant is resistant to any existing Covid-19 vaccines and therapies. The WHO suggests that it may take up to several weeks to gain much information.
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