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Portugal identifies first case of South African COVID-19 variant

Portugal identifies first case of South African COVID-19 variant

FILE PHOTO: People walk near Rossio station during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in downtown Lisbon, Portugal October 28, 2020. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

LISBON: The first case of the South African coronavirus variant was identified in Portugal on Friday (Jan 22), health institute Ricardo Jorge told Lusa news agency, as the country struggles to contain a crippling surge in cases partially blamed on the rapid spread of the British variant.

"We are undergoing due process to rapidly test and interrupt this potential chain of transmission," the Ricardo Jorge Institute told Lusa. It did not say where in Portugal the strain was detected.

The country of 10 million people registered a record 234 coronavirus deaths and 13,987 deaths on Friday, and is currently reporting the highest seven-day rolling average of new cases and deaths per million worldwide according to ourworldindata.org.

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Source: Reuters

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