Data released on Friday in the joint report of the INSA and the Directorate-General, registered 34 cases of Omicron, a variant described as being “of concern”, which was recently identified in southern African countries, having meanwhile already being detected in around 30 countries around the globe.

The INSA's weekly report on the genetic diversity of SARS-CoV-2 in the country, released today, says that "a total of 37 cases have now been identified by targeted search for mutations and/or viral genome sequencing".

“In Portugal, no case of this variant was detected in the nationwide weekly random sampling subject to viral genome sequencing (last sampling for the period from 22 to 28 November, the analysis for the period from 29 November to 5 December is ongoing)”, the report says.

This situation, adds the INSA, puts "as a hypothesis the existence of community circulation of the Omicron variant in Portugal in the periods analysed (hypothesis not confirmed to date), these data suggest that the circulation was residual", the report reads.