Wednesday, May 4th | COVID-19 Daily Update
The daily bulletin published today by the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) indicates that 20 people died in the last 24 hours and 242 was the number of confirmed new cases of COVID-19 infection in Portugal.
The number of deaths increased from 1,043 to 1,063 (+2%) and the number of confirmed cases rose from 25,282 to 25,524 (+1%).
There are currently 1,712 recovered (+1.4%) since the beginning of the pandemic.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
Local businesses, hairdressers, manicurists, bookstores, and auto dealers are resuming their activity today, according to the Government’s Deconfinement Plan released last week.
Public transport starts to circulate with a maximum of two-thirds of the total capacity and users must wear face masks or face-shields, with fines between 120 and 350 euros for those who do not comply.
Regarding nursing home visits, the Minister of Health informed that these are being “rethought” to create security strategies.
The Independent Doctors’ Union has issued some warnings regarding the risks associated with the deconfinement.
The Portuguese Guild of Medical Doctors today defended a massive communication campaign on the good use of face masks, the reinforcement of COVID-19 screening in nursing homes, and the creation of the “Immunological Passport”, among other measures.
Several experts consider that the face mask should be the main option, and not the face shields, which should be understood as an additional protection method.
In just two weeks, pharmacies sold 9.7 million masks, although the Portuguese consider the price of this material to be high for the investment they will have to make each month.
Portugal’s “quick response” in the fight against the new coronavirus continues to be highlighted in the international press. Yesterday, the Financial Times released a special feature about this topic.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The European Center for Disease Control indicates that the initial transmission wave has already peaked, with a “generalized decline” in the number of cases of infection in the countries of the European Union, European Economic Area, and the United Kingdom.
French doctors believe the coronavirus was already active in the country in late December, after retrospectively diagnosing a patient who, on December 27, was admitted to a Paris hospital.
Russia recorded 10,633 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, the highest number of infections confirmed in 24 hours since the start of the pandemic, which brings the total number of positive cases to 134,687 in the country.
In Spain, the number of fatalities rose again from yesterday to today, with 164 more deaths. The number of infected people fell in the same period. The country today begins the first phase of relief from the measures in force against COVID-19.
Germany today records, for the third consecutive day, less than a thousand newly diagnosed cases, with the country’s total at 163,175.
In Belgium, the barrier of 50,000 cases of contagion was just overcome.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Brazil has a total of 7,025 deaths and 101,147 confirmed cases of the infection since the beginning of the pandemic in the country, with 275 deaths in the last 24 hours.
In the USA, there were 1,450 deaths in the last 24 hours, which brings the total number of fatalities in the country to 67,674.
In all, COVID-19 has claimed at least 245,576 deaths worldwide. The total number of infections is now over 3.5 million.
The European Commission expects to collect € 7.5 billion for research into a vaccine, diagnostics, and treatments for COVID-19 during a global fundraising campaign, which is launched today in Brussels.
António Costa announced today the Portuguese public and private contribution in the scope of this “Global response to COVID-19 – donors’ conference”. Portugal will participate with 10 million euros – 1.55 million from the Government and 8.45 million euros from private companies and institutions.
The injectable antiviral drug Remdesivir will be available next week for some of the most serious patients in the U.S., the manufacturer announced yesterday.
The US President considered that there should be a vaccine against COVID-19 available by the end of 2020, saying that several pharmaceutical groups are already “very close” to that objective.
The state of emergency has ended and the country is now in a state of calamity with new rules.
This also changes the support given to Portuguese families. In all, Government support has already reached more than seven million Portuguese.
The recovery should be cautious, says the Minister of Economy, since a small deviation or negligence in the security measures can compromise the whole effort.
The first effects of COVID-19 on the results of listed companies at the Lisbon Stock Exchange are already being felt, but they are expected to be much wider. In all, companies could lose 1.4 billion euros.
In the banking sector, almost 270,000 credit default of 23.7 billion euros have already been granted.
Public debt fell to 254.8 billion euros in March, 600 million euros less than in February, according to data published today by Banco de Portugal, which does not yet reflect the effects of the new coronavirus.
Today, the President of the Republic meets with the presidents of the main Portuguese media groups, after having heard the unions and associations representing the sector about the impact of COVID-19 on the media.
Investors have never seen such a bleak outlook in the Eurozone, according to the German indicator Sentix, which points to an unprecedented degree of pessimism due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This morning, the Portuguese Stock Index PSI-20 continued to devalue 2.65% to 4,170.74 points, with 17 negative titles.
Lisbon thus remained in line with the trend of the main European exchanges: Stoxx 600 fell 1.73%, at a time when the German DAX lost 3%, the French CAC-40 retreated 3.07% and the Spanish IBEX yielded 2.72 %.
Interest rates on the Portuguese debt were now rising on two, five, and ten years from Thursday, in line with those in Spain, Greece, Ireland, and Italy.