“The case relates to a natural person from South Africa, resident in Lisbon, who was diagnosed on January 7 and isolated in time, by the Health Authorities at regional and local level, within the scope of their epidemiological surveillance powers”, reveals a joint statement from the National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge (INSA) and the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).
INSA, through the Bioinformatics Nucleus of its Infectious Diseases Department, today identified the first case of covid-19 associated with the South African variant, within the scope of the genetic-based surveillance that INSA develops to monitor the circulation of genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2 of epidemiological and clinical importance.
INSA says that “this new genetic variant of SARS-CoV-2 has been identified by the world health authorities as deserving special surveillance due to its high transmission potential”.
“In addition, some laboratory tests have shown that this variant may be less recognized by some of the antibodies generated in the course of an infection, naturally raising an increased concern,” says the institute.
As part of the “Study of the genetic diversity of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19) in Portugal”, INSA states that it will proceed with the laboratory surveillance activities of SARS-CoV-2 in conjunction with the Health Authorities, maintaining a special focus on detecting new introductions and monitoring the circulation of variants to raise particular interest by the scientific community and Health Authorities.
INSA has been developing since April 2020, in conjunction with the Gulbenkian Institute of Science and with the collaboration of more than 65 laboratories, hospitals and institutions across the country, a study that aims to determine the mutational profiles of SARS-CoV- 2 for the identification and monitoring of transmission chains of the new coronavirus, as well as the identification of new virus introductions in Portugal.
Today Portugal recorded the highest number of deaths (234) by covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and 13,987 new cases of infection, according to the daily balance of the DGS.
In Portugal, 9,920 people have already died out of the 609,136 confirmed cases of infection.
Source: Correio da Manhã by www.cmjornal.pt.
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