COVID-19 | Daily Update

May 19, 2020

Wednesday, May 19th  | COVID-19 Daily Update



According to the epidemiological report released today by the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS), in the last 24 hours, there were 16 more deaths and 223 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Portugal.  

The bulletin reports that the number of fatalities rose from 1,231 to 1,247 (+1.30%), while confirmed cases increased from 29,209 to 29,432 (+0.76%). 

Only one more person recovered from the disease and the number of recovered people increased to 6,431 (+0.02%).



Portugal follows the European Commission (EC) position “that quarantines of a general nature should not be adopted unilaterally”, imposing on travellers 14 days of withdrawal even if they do not show any symptoms of COVID-19. 

The Health Minister said yesterday before the World Health Assembly that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that “no country is prepared” to face such a threat alone.

The Secretary of State for Health announced that the occupancy rate of intensive care units is 54%, with around 30% for patients with COVID-19. 

Today, DGS issued guidance on newborn care in maternity hospitals in the context of the pandemic.

Quilaban, a company which sold three million masks to DGS, assured yesterday that “the certification presented was true and valid and remained true and valid through a new certificate”.



Donald Trump threatened to end the contribution to the World Health Organization (WHO) indefinitely within 30 days and admitted the possible departure of the US from the organization. 

In the last 24 hours, the United States has reported 759 deaths from COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths to 90,309, according to the independent count by Johns Hopkins University. 

Mexico has already surpassed 50,000 infections and recorded 5,332 deaths since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s health authorities reported yesterday. 

China has diagnosed, in the past 24 hours, six new cases of COVID-19, on the eighth consecutive day that the daily sum of infections in the country remains below ten, officials said today. 

According to a new study published by the magazine “Frontiers in Medicine”, the new coronavirus was already circulating silently in Wuhan, in central China, last October, and spread “randomly and without showing epidemic signs”. 

The pandemic numbers in Belgium continue to drop, with a total of 232 new cases reported today, 47 fewer than the day before, and 29 new deaths, minus 14, health officials said.

French people and permanent residents in France returning from outside the EU will be invited to undergo “voluntary” confinement starting tomorrow, said the country’s foreign minister.

The number of people infected with the new coronavirus in India has exceeded 100,000, with a significant increase in those infected among migrant workers who left the cities during the confinement decreed by the New Delhi government.



A team of researchers at Peking University says they have found a potential “cure” for COVID-19. The study shows that some neutralizing antibodies can reduce recovery time and offer short-term immunity by preventing contagion for several weeks. 

The American biotechnology company Modern announced “provisional positive” results yesterday in the initial phase of clinical trials of its vaccine against the new coronavirus in a small number of volunteers.  

The European Medicines Agency has estimated that “at best,” a vaccine will be available for COVID-19 within a year, calling for a “coordinated approach” between the Member States to prioritize its distribution.

In Portugal, the experimental drug Remdesivir is being administered in five hospitals, but Infarmed is cautious about its potential to face COVID-19.



Germany and France yesterday proposed the value of 500 billion euros for the creation of a European recovery fund for the economies affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor of Banco de Portugal warned of the risk of a “precipice effect that cannot be ignored” when the term for credit default arises, as companies will have to start paying instalments, without having stabilized revenues yet. 

The Directorate-General for Employment and Labor Relations and Social Security said that support for self-employed workers with no minimum discount periods needed to access extraordinary income support measures due to the reduced activity will be possible until June 30. 

Since the start of the pandemic, ACT (Authority for the Labor Conditions) has initiated more than 200 lawsuits for labour offences, also issuing more than 400 notices and suspending, with the powers conferred on it during the state of emergency and which remain in force, 30 dismissal processes for evidence of illegality.

The Bank of Spain warned that the Spanish economy is “more vulnerable” to the impact of the coronavirus because it depends so much on tourism.

In the best-case scenario, GDP will fall 9.5% this year while, in France, Bruno Le Maire says that the Government will not raise taxes to respond to the sharp rise in public spending and insists on the fact that the debt generated will be paid, “but later”.



After the strong gains registered in yesterday’s session, the Portuguese stock exchange continues today on positive ground with the Portuguese Stock Index PSI-20 increasing 0.94% to 4,219.56 points. 

In Europe, the trend is also positive, with the main indexes in the region rising more than 0.5%, with investors encouraged by the progress achieved with the vaccine of Moderna to combat COVID-19.  

The price of oil, for the first time in history, fell to negative values when the May contracts came to an end. The term of the new contracts, from June, ends today, but the effect should not be the same.