Anvisa and Health Department investigate possible irregularity in immigration of four players from Argentina

The National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), together with the Health Department of São Paulo, investigates this Saturday (04) a possible irregularity in the immigration of four Argentine national team players in Brazil, for the duel for the South American Qualifiers that takes place this Sunday (05), at Neo Química Arena.

Premier League athletes Emiliano “Dibu” Martinez, Cristian Romero, Emiliano Buendia and Giovani Lo Celso did not declare at the immigration that they were in the UK in the last 14 days – which would result in a 14-day quarantine period, according to ordinance number 655, of June 23, 2021, of the Civil House.

“The traveler who meets the provisions of article 3, with origin or history of passage through the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of India in the last fourteen days, upon entering the Brazilian territory, should remain in quarantine for fourteen days,” says an excerpt from the Civil House ordinance.

This way, the athletes would be in disagreement with the sanitary norms in force in Brazil. Anvisa informed that all the athletes of the Argentine delegation claimed not to have been to the United Kingdom in the last 14 days and is investigating, with the São Paulo Health Department, the facts with the Argentine national team. A meeting between Anvisa, AFA (Argentine Football Confederation), São Paulo Health Department, also with the presence of representatives of Conmebol and CBF, was held at 17:00 (GMT) this Saturday, but there is still no more information.

“The players in question, who arrived in Brazil on a flight from Caracas (Venezuela) to Guarulhos, declared that they had not traveled to any of the four countries with restrictions in the last 14 days,” says an excerpt from the note from Anvisa.

According to the report from TNT Sports, the four players have been in Premier League games in the last 14 days. Lo Celso and Romero, who play for Tottenham, were on the bench in the match against Watford on 29 August. Dibu Martinez and Buendia, in turn, were on the field for Aston Villa against Brentford the day before – the midfielder even noted Villa’s goal in the match.

According to a report by journalist Hernán Castillo, from TNT Sports Argentina, even with the complaint and the investigation of the facts by Organs Brazilian bodies, the four players will be at the disposal of the coach Lionel Scaloni for the match.

Check out the official note from Anvisa on the case below:

The rules for the entry of travelers are provided for in Interministerial Ordinance 655, of 2021. According to the ordinance, travelers who have passed through the United Kingdom, South Africa, Northern Ireland and India in the last 14 days, with some exceptions (ex. Brazilians), are prevented from entering national territory. Therefore, they must undergo prior quarantine in another country before entering Brazil.

For entry into national territory, in turn, all travelers must present to the airline, before boarding, an RT-PCR test done within 72 hours. They must also complete a health declaration where they state their travel history.

The players in question, who arrived in Brazil on a flight from Caracas (Venezuela) to Guarulhos, declared that they had not traveled to any of the four countries with restrictions in the last 14 days.

Yesterday (09/03), however, unofficial news reached Anvisa reporting alleged untrue statements made by such travelers.

It should be noted that false information provided to the Brazilian authorities may constitute sanitary infractions and an infringement of criminal laws. Therefore, Anvisa notified the Center for Strategic Information on National Health Surveillance (CIEVS/MS), which coordinates the CIEVS network, responsible for epidemiological investigation in the state of São Paulo and the municipality of Guarulhos.

See below the note from the São Paulo Health Department:

The Secretary of State for Health informs that the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), responsible for surveillance at airports, allowed the entry into Brazil of 4 athletes from the Argentine soccer team who work in the United Kingdom. According to Federal Ordinance n.655 of June 23, 2021, they had to comply with quarantine when arriving in Brazil for having passed through England in the last 14 days, considered a restricted area.

After notification from the federal agency, the State Department of Health initiated an epidemiological and health investigation and will report all information for Anvisa to deliberate on the need for quarantine of athletes.