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In Portugal, when the COVID-19 statistics is displayed on television, there is data titled "casos importados" - a list of countries followed by a number (not a big one, from 1 to about 20). What does this title supposed to mean? Is this a number of persons already having the virus (Portuguese or foreigners) who have entered Portugal from a respective country? Or is this a number of persons who then later have been diagnosed with COVID-19? Something else?

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Yes, it's the number of people who arrived from those countries already with the virus.

If they're known to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 at arrival or if it's detected later on (say, while they're quarantined) doesn't play a role.

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"Imported cases", in this specific situation, refers to the number of persons who acquired the new Coronavirus abroad, no matter whether they were diagnosed upon arrival in Portugal or later on.

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