"In relation to the situation of having only one case, we probably don't have only one case, because 30% of the passengers who arrived in Madeira since July 1, 2020, come from the United Kingdom, where this variant already has a very high prevalence”, he said.

“Of course, it will not be just one case that can exist in Madeira because it is a highly transmissible variant”.

Pedro Ramos explained that the National Institute of Health Doctor Ricardo Jorge is no longer able to analyse all the samples that the region sends, so he admitted the possibility that the Omicron variant is spreading across the archipelago is very real.

On December 16, authorities in Madeira reported the first infection with the Omicron variant, a case imported from the United Kingdom, with Pedro Ramos saying at the time that the situation was "perfectly to be expected".