António Costa highlighted the information that the Government has received both from “South African authorities” and “from contacts with Portuguese doctors working in South Africa”, stating the Ómicron variant will have “a higher rate of transmissibility”, but it does not have “a very different symptomatology from the previous variants”.
"The information that has been collected indicates one thing: first, this variant has a higher transmissibility rate, that is, it is more dangerous in transmission, (…) [but] it does not appear to develop a symptomatology that is very different from the previous variants, that is, it is more transmissible but it is not necessarily more harmful to health”, he stated.
However, he stressed that it is "important" to know more about the new variant and stressed that, until there is more information, it is necessary for people to take "as much caution as possible".
“We must be careful because we still know little, it was detected a short time ago, so we have to wait for the information that the scientific authorities are producing. (…) It is obvious that we cannot be careless”, he stressed.