Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Spain detects its 1st case of omicron community transmission

New variant outbreak in football club infects 19 people in neighboring Portugal

Alyssa McMurtry   | 02.12.2021
Spain detects its 1st case of omicron community transmission

OVIEDO, Spain

Spain confirmed its first community transmission case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus on Thursday, reporting the infection of a vaccinated man in Madrid.

"The affected had no travel history or close contact with anyone who had traveled to any of the countries where the variant has been detected," said a statement from the Government of the Community of Madrid.

The 62-year-old man who had received two jabs of the AstraZeneca vaccine began to experience symptoms on Monday. He is now in confinement alongside the person who lives with him.

Meanwhile, Madrid officials are sequencing two other suspicious viruses in people who also have no travel history.

Thursday's omicron case is the fourth reported in Spain, but all of the others were in people who had recently traveled to South Africa.

Three of the cases were found in Madrid and another in the Balearic Islands.

Meanwhile, 19 people have now tested positive for the omicron variant in Portugal, according to the country's head of health.

Speaking to broadcaster RTP, Graca Freitas said all of the cases found were in people with ties to the Belenenses SAD football club.

Thibang 'Cafu' Phete, the team's defender, had recently returned from South Africa.

On Monday, Portuguese health authorities confirmed that 13 players and staff from Lisbon's first-division team had tested positive for the new variant of concern.

Several players have already been in confinement since last Saturday when the team were forced to play a football match despite being short players.

More than 100 people, who may have had contact with the infected team members, have been in isolation and are being closely monitored by health officials to prevent the spread of the mutant virus.​​​​​​​

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