“In the past week we have detected the first five cases of such a variant that we call Indian, all of which are associated with Lisbon and the Tagus Valley, and which, according to the genetic profile that we have been able to observe, refer to three different introductions of this variant in the country” , said the researcher.

João Paulo Gomes said that when he was going to the Infarmed meeting, he received a call from the employees of the Gulbenkian Institute of Science to announce that they had just detected yet another case of this variant.

"So there are not five, there are now six cases in this last week of the Indian variant," said the researcher, at the meeting to update the surveillance of genetic variants of the new coronavirus in Portugal, which brings together experts, Government, President of the Republic and representatives of the parties .

According to João Paulo Gomes, all of these results are communicated in “real time and in a timely manner” to the Directorate-General for Health and the Regional Health Administrations (ARS) so that “in a timely manner, contact tracking and blocking will also be carried out”.