July 16, 2020 / 2:40 PM / 24 days ago

Portuguese officers raid clinics claiming 'ozone therapy' cures COVID-19

FILE PHOTO: A woman wearing a protective mask walks, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in downtown Lisbon, Portugal, May 14, 2020. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante/File Photo

LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese police detained five people on Thursday after raiding health clinics allegedly exploiting the coronavirus pandemic by claiming “ozone therapy” prevents or cures the highly contagious disease.

In a statement, Portugal’s criminal investigation police agency, the PJ, said the suspects allegedly took advantage of the “fragility and vulnerability of people afraid of the virus or even infected”.

The clinics - not named by the PJ - may have contributed to the spread of the disease, the police said, adding they also conducted various tests, namely to detect the coronavirus, without holding a license or meeting the required standards.

Two men and three women aged between 32 and 62, all working in the health sector, were arrested and will appear before a court, the PJ said.

Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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