Wednesday, May 13th | COVID-19 Daily Update
In the last 24 hours, there were 12 more deaths in Portugal and 219 new confirmed cases of people infected with COVID-19, according to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) daily epidemiological bulletin.
The data show that the number of fatalities went from 1,163 to 1,175 (+1%), while confirmed cases increased from 27,913 to 28,132 (+0.8%).
There are now 3,182 people in the country who have recovered from the infection, 169 (+5.6%) more than yesterday.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
With the country experiencing the second week of deconfinement, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 was this Monday almost half the peak recorded in April.
These indicators that are being monitored and the assessment of the capacity of the NHS should be one of the themes of the technical meeting on Friday, from which a balance will be drawn from the first stage of deconfinement.
The number of beds in intensive care units in the NHS increased by 35% between March and May 2, reveals the report on the third period of the state of emergency.
The report also reveals that firefighters face financial difficulties due to the current pandemic situation, which can compromise their ability to respond to emergencies.
Yesterday, there was the biggest daily increase in recoveries and it was learned that of the 3,148 infected health professionals, 834 are nurses.
About 29,000 workers from more than 2,000 daycare centres will be tested, in a national screening program that begins on Saturday.
Portugal is the fifth OECD country with the highest testing of COVID-19.
The Prime Minister asked teachers and students for confidence in returning to face-to-face classes. António Costa announced that more than four million masks will be distributed to 500 schools.
The Secretary of State for Health says that the Government has not yet decided whether to place emigrants in quarantine. António Sales indicates that the decision will be dependent on how the deconfinement develops in Portugal and the countries of origin.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The American continent yesterday surpassed Europe in the number of infected with COVID-19, registering about 1.74 million cases, becoming the new global focus of the pandemic, warned the World Health Organization (WHO).
In the USA, the warning from the leading infectious disease specialist is being largely ignored. Anthony Fauci warned of the “explosion” of new infections if the reopening of economic activities is hastened.
In the last 24 hours, Brazil accounted for 881 deaths and 9,258 new infections.
Russia today registered 10,028 new cases of infection and is now the epicentre of the pandemic in Europe.
Germany, on the other hand, recorded 798 new cases diagnosed with COVID-19 in 24 hours, with a drop from the previous day, and is now debating the gradual opening of the country’s borders.
Spain totalled 184 deaths, up from 176 yesterday, but below 200 for the fifth consecutive day.
In China, travel restrictions have been imposed on Jilin province, in the north-east of the country, to contain the spread of the new coronavirus, after several cases have been diagnosed in recent days.
Unicef warned that the fight against COVID-19 could cause the death of six thousand children per day in the poorest countries, for the next six months, as collateral victims of the overload of health systems.
Human Rights Watch warns that mobile tracking applications threaten human rights and can “increase discrimination and repression”.
The WHO said that “potentially positive data” has been obtained in some of the treatments for COVID-19 that are being tested. However, the organization’s spokeswoman also notes that more analysis is needed.
The executive director of the European Medicines Agency demanded “a coordinated strategy” from EU member countries in the search for a vaccine against the new coronavirus.
The European Commission (EC) has committed to finance, with 72 million euros, eight research projects for the development of diagnostics and treatments for the disease.
In the United States, the Pentagon announced that it had signed a 127 million-euro contract with a company that manufactures injectable capsules to allow the rapid spread of a vaccine against COVID-19 starting next fall.
North American biopharmaceutical company Modern reported that the phase 3 clinical trial of its experimental vaccine against the new coronavirus is expected to begin later this summer.
Crioestaminal has developed a therapy for severe cases of COVID-19 based on cells obtained from the umbilical cord. The Portuguese company based in Cantanhede plans to supply doses of mesenchymal cells to the NHS as soon as it obtains the necessary authorization.
The report of the third period of the state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic classifies the decline in employment and the retraction of economic activity as “inevitable” and points to a “social crisis following the health crisis”.
UTAO (the unit that advises the Portuguese Parliament on budgetary technical issues) warned that the credit lines made available will constitute “contingent liabilities” of the State, as well as for the budgetary risks of intervention in TAP.
The Ministers’ Council yesterday approved a resolution that will maintain the closure of land borders with Spain until a date still to be announced.
At the meeting, the measures to be adopted to gradually reopen the economy this month were defined.
The EC has not yet presented the new proposal for the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027, which will frame the European economic recovery plan, but the European Parliament is today again debating the issue and the need for a contingency plan.
The EC today recommended that, when transport resumes, there should be fewer passengers on board, making an exception for flights, that customers and workers wear face masks and other equipment. Protective barriers must be used.
With the economy practically frozen, 45% of European companies located in Western Europe and the United Kingdom are forecasting or considering reducing jobs because of the impact of the pandemic on their business. The UK economy contracted 5.8% in March, approaching what could be the biggest recession in more than 300 years.
Suspending payments from Eurobonds harms Angola and Mozambique, says analyst Thomas Laryea. The assumption of the debt problem as a central issue for African governments was also addressed with concern by the IMF and the World Bank.
The 76 developing countries that are eligible for the G20 Debt Suspension Initiative owe creditors $ 31 billion by the end of the year, points out an analysis by the International Financial Institute.
The Portuguese stock exchange opened on negative ground, with the PSI-20 losing 1.5%, accumulating three sessions of decline. It is the worst loss cycle since the strong devaluations recorded in March due to the pandemic crisis.
Portugal today obtained financing of 1,492 million euros from the markets, with the interest rate on ten-year bonds again below 1%.
Haitong Bank expects a brake on mergers and acquisitions and listing on the stock exchange due to the impact of COVID-19.
After this more critical phase, the bank believes that it is in the capital market that companies will be able to find a solution to finance their recovery.