Wednesday, April 28 | COVID-19 Daily Update
The Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) daily epidemiological bulletin published today registers 1.389 recovered patients (+2.4% in the last 24 hours) since de beginning of the pandemic.
There are 20 more deaths and 305 new cases of infection with COVID-19 in Portugal in the last 24 hours.
The number of deaths rose from 928 to 948 and the total number of confirmed cases increased from 24.027 to 24.332.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The President of the Republic, Government, political parties, and experts are meeting today at Infarmed (Portuguese FDA counterpart) to analyze the country’s epidemiological situation with a view to a possible end of the state of emergency in Portugal.
According to the OECD, Portugal is acting according to the European average in the number of tests to COVID-19 of the countries that integrate the Organization, far above countries like France or the United Kingdom but below Iceland or Luxembourg.
The purchase of goods, equipment, and services for the prevention and combat of the disease can now be done through simplified direct procurement, whatever the business dimension. This flexibilization was justified by the conditions of the international market, which is conditioned by great demand.
This information was known at a time when the Ministry of Health is being accused of not revealing the millionaire contracts for the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment. This week, week, the country receives 7.9 million surgical masks and four million respirators (face masks with higher protection grade), said yesterday the Secretary of State for Health, António Lacerda Sales.
Between March 1st and April 22nd, the number of deaths – higher than what would be expected in Portugal – may have reached the 4.000. The conclusions are from a study released today in the scientific magazine of the Ordem dos Médicos (Portuguese Guild of Medical Doctors), which points to the worsening of chronic diseases due to the “fear of going to the emergency rooms in hospitals”.
Monitor4COVID19 was presented yesterday in Porto. This mobile app has been developed in Portugal since last March and alerts anyone who has been in contact with an infected person.
The University of Coimbra will lead an international consortium to “study compassion, social connection and resilience in the face of trauma during the pandemic” of COVID-19, the institution announced yesterday.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The director-general of the World Health Organization said yesterday that the world should have heard better when a global health emergency was declared last January, stressing that countries that followed the guidelines of the organization are better off than those that ignored them.
More than 3 million people have been infected with the new coronavirus worldwide, 80% of which in Europe and the USA, according to the latest balance sheet.
In Spain, the number of deaths has gone down again, with the authorities confirming 301 deaths in the last 24 hours, at a time when the country has more than 210,000 infected and over 102,000 recovered.
Yesterday, Brazil totalled 4.543 deaths and 66.501 confirmed cases, with 338 deaths in the last 24 hours, an increase of 8%.
In the UK, doctors are concerned about a new coronavirus-related illness in children.
In the U.S. President Donald Trump will have ignored spies’ warnings about the threat of the new coronavirus, the Washington Post said.
According to a French study released yesterday, the immunomodulating drug Tocilizumab is effective in preventing “inflammatory storms”, and considered the most serious forms of COVID-19.
Oxford University is leading the race for the vaccine against COVID-19 with a drug that has already shown to be promising in monkey trials and says it may have an effective solution in September. Human tests shall be made until the end of May.
For now, it is still not possible to predict the efficacy of a vaccine, factories are being renovated to distribute doses on a worldwide scale, in an investment of billions, and Johnson & Johnson expects to start testing in humans in September.
In the United States, a group of scientists, funded by multimillion-dollar investors, came together to develop responses to combat the pandemic and have already delivered the first report to the White House.
The Portuguese budget surplus shrank more than 90% until March, according to the Budget Execution Summary released yesterday by DGO (General Directorate of the State Budget), which indicated that it does not yet clearly reflect the effects of the containment and the expenses related to COVID -19.
In an interview with TSF news radio, the Minister of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, clarified some points about the lay-off regime, support for independent workers, and the increase in unemployment, admitting that the Government is “still surveying situations that may be uncovered ”. According to the Ministry of Labor, Solidarity, and Social Security, extraordinary support for self-employed workers who have seen a total drop-in activity is starting to be paid today.
Following the drop in income, the president of the Food Bank Against Hunger, Isabel Jonet, said that since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 11,600 requests for help from households have arrived. Most of them are from people that never needed this kind of help until now.
Bosch sent to lay-off all the workers from its Braga plant, which will now close all production lines. The reason is linked to the shortage of demand from its clients.
The wages of over 30 million workers, from the five largest economies in Europe, are now dependent on state support, given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on business activity.
The European Commission said that travel and flights within the EU will not resume on the same date for every member-state because it depends on the health situation in each country, but asked for “harmonized rules” to avoid discrimination.
On this World Day for Safety and Health at Work, the International Labor Organization also warns of the need for a safe return to work, under the risk of having a second wave of coronavirus.
In France, consumer confidence has fallen to its lowest level since 1972, with fears about unemployment rising.
In the United States, President Donald Trump has warned that he will keep borders closed until the pandemic situation in Europe improves.
The Portuguese Stock Index PSI-20 opened today’s session losing 0.36% to 4,121.68 points, on a day when European markets are still trading poorly.
National sovereign debt interest rates are easing, with the ten-year reference rate falling below the psychological 1% threshold on the secondary market.
The excess of oil, however, continues to give no truce, with this raw material falling 17% up to 10 dollars.