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In Portugal, Omicron BA.5 Subvariant Sparks New Surge With 26,848 New Cases

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(CTN News) – Recent COVID-19 cases and deaths in Portugal, triggered by the Omicron BA.5 subvariant, have caused several countries in Europe to reconsider their pandemic response. Portugal confirmed 26,848 new cases and 47 deaths related to COVID on June 1, the most since February 17 – when 51 deaths were reported, according to The Guardian. Further, the report noted that the pattern contrasted sharply with the pandemic scenario in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and neighboring Spain, where case rates have been declining over the past two months.

There have been 1,455 deaths due to the disease in Portugal since April 2022, which is the sixth wave of the pandemic since then. Recent reports from the Ministry of Health and the Ricardo Jorge Institute indicate mortality from all causes is higher than expected. Also, COVID-19 was said to have caused an increase in specific mortality. Mathematician Henrique Oliveira warned that ICU and ward hospitalizations in Portugal will remain high until the end of June, according to a report by Lisbon University’s pandemic monitoring working group.

Must Read: UK’s COVID Alert Level Reduced As Omicron Sub-types Surface

Omicron cases surge in Portugal and Spain

Portugal recorded 2,888 new Omicron BA.5 cases per million population in the week leading up to June 2, while Spain recorded 373 new Omicron BA.5 cases. Although most restrictions have been replicated in Spain, masks are still required on public transportation as well as in hospitals, health centers, pharmacies, and care homes. Because of its complex genetic sequence, the WHO classified the Omicron as a “Variant of Concern” in November 2021.

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