Friday, 17th July | COVID-19 Daily Update
The Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) today informed about the registration, in the last 24 hours, of three more deaths and 312 new cases of infection by COVID-19 in Portugal.
According to the institution’s daily epidemiological bulletin, the number of deaths rose from 1,679 to 1,682 (+0.18%), while the number of confirmed cases increased from 47,765 to 48,077 (+0.65%).
The total number of people recovered is 32,790, 314 more than yesterday (+0.97%).
Portugal has now 206 active surges, 45 more than one week ago, most of them in the Lisbon Metropolitan area.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The Government yesterday appointed DGS as responsible for the processing of personal data used in the STAYAWAY COVID contact tracking mobile application.
In the first half of July, 673 more people died than in the same period of 2019. The peak of deaths is justified by the high temperatures experienced for more than a week and by the constraints in access to health care due to the pandemic.
The Minister of Infrastructure and Housing said he admitted to ending the limitations on the capacity of public transport. Pedro Nuno Santos invokes, in an interview, the example of other European capital cities, where there are no such restrictions and reaffirms that several international studies demonstrate that there is no connection between the use of buses, trains or subway and outbreaks of COVID-19.
The PJ (Criminal Police) detained, yesterday, five health professionals suspected of enticing patients to practice ozone therapy as an effective treatment against COVID-19. The president of the Portuguese Guild of Medical Doctors says that conventional therapies “do not have scientific evidence”, condemning the actions of those who say they have a cure for the new coronavirus.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The UK, USA, and Canada accused Russia yesterday of trying to steal research information from scientists in those three countries who are working on a vaccine against COVID-19.
British Government scientific adviser Patrick Vallance said yesterday that there will be outbreaks of coronavirus “for several years” in the United Kingdom and considered that the country should still maintain the current measures of social distance and teleworking.
In Spain, the newspaper “El Mundo” says that data from the Spanish Ministry of Health, when presented, reflects only a small part of what is happening. The situation changes as soon as the National Epidemiology Center corrects the values and updates the contagion rate, which, the newspaper writes, is now at the same level as it was at the start of the Alarm State.
Germany has recorded 583 new cases of COVID-19 and four fatalities in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of infections since the start of the pandemic to 200,843 and 9,082 deaths.
The United States, on the other hand, recorded more than 68,000 daily new cases, after yesterday having passed the barrier of 70,000 contagions, said Johns Hopkins University.
Concerning the pandemic, the country extended until September 30th the suspension of the cruise operation in North American ports.
Yesterday, Brazil surpassed the two million infected and the 76,000 deaths caused by the new coronavirus.
On the Asian continent, China diagnosed a new case of local contagion, in the far northwest of the country, after ten days with no record of domestic transmissions, the Chinese authorities said today.
A study published in the journal “Lancet” says that tracking contacts of patients with COVID-19 will do little to stop the spread if diagnostic tests are not rapid.
Experts say 62% of people who have experienced any symptom of COVID-19 reported suffering from a headache. The study, carried out by researchers at Imperial College London, also found that loss of taste and smell are both more common than the incidence of persistent dry cough.
The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, admitted that the summit of leaders he is starting today, dedicated to the economic response to the COVID-19 crisis, will mean “very difficult negotiation”, calling for “political courage” to reach an agreement.
The Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, reiterated today, in Brussels, the desire for a “quick agreement” around the proposal to relaunch the European economy, hoping that the Council will not waste time, because the proposal on the table is “excellent”.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she expected “very difficult” negotiations, given the “very large differences” that still exist among European leaders on the response to the crisis generated by the pandemic.
In Portugal, after four months in which the simplified lay-off regime was in force, August will bring news. This mechanism will be replaced by “extraordinary support for the progressive recovery”, in effect between August and December.
The Algarve is missing the foreign market, mainly the British one, which is the most important in the region. The UK ban was not welcomed by the Algarve region nor by British tourists who continue to arrive in the region, some of them through Spain.
At the same time, many emigrants are postponing their visit to Portugal this summer, according to the Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities. By the way, Berta Nunes said that “Portugal is a safe country”, with land and air borders open to citizens living in the Schengen Area.
The main Portuguese stock index (PSI-20) was gaining 0.28% this morning to 4,480.88, in line with the main European markets.
“European stock exchanges opened at the last session of the week at a slightly high, after yesterday’s slight falls in both Europe and the USA”, points out Millennium BCP Mtrader, Ramiro Loureiro.