Forty-four Belenenses players self-isolating, 13 positive for Omicron variant

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Vigilance is key when preventing the spread of a contagious virus like COVID-19, and the Omicron variant has had its way with Belenenses.

And now perhaps Benfica.

Many saw the weekend video of COVID-hit Belenenses facing off with its Lisbon rivals down to 9-men, a match that did not reach the 48th minute due to only seven players remaining on the pitch.

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Belenenses defender Cafu Phete tested positive for COVID-19 upon return from national team duty in South Africa, where there’s been an outbreak of the Omicron variant of the virus. The World Health Organization designated Omicron a “variant of concern” last week.

Reuters reports that all of Belenenses players had been vaccinated but that will not stop their players and staffers spreading the virus. The vaccine is designed to mitigate the effects of the virus, not eliminate it.

As many as 44 players and staff at Belenenses are now quarantining while Benfica has not taken the same steps due to what it calls low-risk for getting the virus from their opponents.

Here’s hoping Benfica is right and we’re thankful that the vaccinated Belenenses players are currently asymptomatic.