Saturday, June 20th | COVID-19 Daily Update
The Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) said today that in the last 24 hours there was another death and 377 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Portugal.
The daily epidemiological report indicates that fatalities increased from 1,527 to 1,528 (+0.07%), while the number of infected people rose from 38,464 to 38,841 (+0.98%).
The number of people recovered increased from 24,477 to 24,906, plus 429 (+1.75%).
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The President of the Republic argues that the European football Champions League final is important for the economy, but he stressed that the presence of the supporters will depend on the evolution of the pandemic.
On the border restrictions imposed by some European countries, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa underlined that Portugal chose “an orientation that is the truth”.
The Government also guaranteed that it “does not hide any information” from the Portuguese regarding the evolution of the pandemic. The prime minister said he is not concerned with the country’s international image.
Yesterday, the Minister of Health revealed that the COVID-19 transmissibility index between “June 1st to 15th was 0.98”. Regarding the situation in the Algarve, Marta Temido ruled out the possibility of imposing a sanitary fence.
The Government will meet on Monday with mayors and the president of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area to assess the situation in Lisbon and the Tagus Valley region. The Regional Office of Intervention for the Suppression of COVID-19 will now have to make a daily report on the epidemiological situation.
The DGS will change the standard for testing healthcare professionals. Medical doctors and nurses’ professional guilds called for more frequent testing to control contagion within hospitals.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the pandemic is accelerating and that the world is “at a very dangerous stage”. The organization highlighted the increase in contagion in some countries and left warnings to government officials.
Yesterday, the Spanish Government updated the pandemic figures and added almost 1,200 deaths to the official balance. The authorities also revealed that in the last month 34 outbreaks were detected, one of them transmitted during a work trip to Lisbon.
Italy yesterday announced the registration of 47 deaths in 24 hours, bringing the total to 34,561, and confirmed 251 new cases, the lowest number in the last few days.
In France, 14 more deaths were recorded, bringing the total to 29,617.
In China, 27 new cases have been diagnosed in the last 24 hours. Next strain, a COVID-19 genetic mapping project, announced that the new outbreak in Beijing is very similar to viruses already identified in Portugal, Greece, and the Czech Republic.
In South Korea, 67 new cases were reported in the last 24 hours, the biggest daily increase in about three weeks.
In Brazil, the barrier of one million confirmed cases has been surpassed. The country now totals 1,032,913 infected and 48,954 deaths.
The African continent recorded 298 more deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 7,693. The cases are more than 286,000.
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed more than 456,000 people and infected more than 8.5 million worldwide, according to an AFP news agency balance sheet, released at 8 pm yesterday.
The Exscalate4CoV consortium, supported by the European Union, announced yesterday that raloxifene, a generic drug used to treat osteoporosis, may be effective for mild or asymptomatic patients of COVID-19, and is testing this potential off-label use.
In South Africa, the pharmaceutical company Espen Pharmacare says it is ready to accelerate the production of dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory drug that has proven effective in treating the most serious patients.
Novartis will shut down the clinical trial with hydroxychloroquine, due to the lack of participants.
European leaders estimate that an agreement on the new economic recovery fund and the next EU budget could be reached in July. If the European Commission’s proposal for the fund proceeds as it stands, Portugal will receive around 26 billion euros.
Yesterday, IGCP (the Portuguese Agency for Public Debt Management) reported that, following the presentation of the Supplementary Budget by the Government, it almost doubled the funding needs for 2020.
The Assistant Secretary of State for Labor admitted to assessing the maintenance, after the crisis caused by the pandemic, of the new power assigned to the Authority for Labor Conditions to suspend illegal dismissals.
For his part, the Secretary of State for Social Security assured that the new support that the Government will grant between July and December to workers in the informal economy will not leave out independents workers (also known as “recibos verdes”).
According to a survey by INE ( Portuguese Statistics Board) and Banco de Portugal (Portuguese Banking Regulator), only five out of 100 companies kept their doors closed due to the effects of the pandemic in the first 15 days of June. This is an improvement over the previous report.
CGTP (left-wing Portuguese Workers Confederation) alerted to the effects of the pandemic on workers: about 100 thousand are unemployed, more than 800 thousand went into lay-off, and more than one million lost income.
This week, investors were encouraged by the new stimulus measures announced by several governments and central banks, and by advances in the trade agreement between the US and China.
This outlook happened despite concerns about the resurgence of outbreaks of COVID-19.
Southern European countries’ sovereign bonds traded higher, while oil prices rose sharply.
European stock markets ended the week with gains, with the Portuguese PSI-20 advancing 0.75%.
DAX rose 0.40%, FTSE 100 added 1.10%, CAC 40 gained 0.42%, AEX grew 0.93%, IBEX 35 appreciated 0.32% and FTSE MIB rose 0.68 %.
Euro Stoxx 50 appreciated by 0.68%. On the other side of the Atlantic, the New York Stock Exchange closed with mixed sentiment.