Wednesday, June 2nd | COVID-19 Daily Update
According to the epidemiological report released today by the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS), in the last 24 hours, there were 12 more deaths and 195 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Portugal.
The bulletin reports that the number of fatalities rose from 1,424 to 1,436 (+0.84%), while confirmed cases increased from 32,700 to 32,895 (+0.60%).
The number of recovered people increased to 19,869 (+1.62%).
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The Minister of Health, Marta Temido, guaranteed yesterday that there are no zones in the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon justifying the adoption of measures such as sanitary fences.
According to the Assistant Secretary of State for Health, the specific response plan to curb outbreaks of infection in the region is comprised of 7,000 daily tests, with a total of up to 49,000 “in this first week” of testing.
The INEM (Emergency service) ambulances in Lisbon did not go out yesterday. INEM personnel refuses to work if the vehicles are not disinfected. The institute was deprived of the disinfection of uniforms and ambulances with the Emergency Protection and Relief Unit failing to provide the service, having been forced to resort to private individuals.
The president of the Portuguese Guild of Medical Doctors believes that the overall rise in mortality over the past month is largely due to the concentration of efforts to combat COVID-19, admitting that the response to non-COVID-19 patients may have been affected by the current context.
The first cases of infection in Portugal were confirmed exactly three months ago, on the 2nd of March. Since then, most deaths have occurred in people over the age of 80, many of whom live in nursing homes.
If there is a new wave of the disease in Portugal, the adoption of surveillance of infected by mobile phone has the agreement of the majority (61%) of the Portuguese, according to a survey made by the polls company Pitagórica.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The COVID-19 pandemic has already claimed at least 373,439 deaths worldwide and more than 6.2 million people infected, according to the latest AFP (French news agency) report.
Belgium recorded less than 100 new cases of contamination in the last 24 hours.
Germany recorded 213 new cases, with the contagion rate rising to 1.2. In all, 8,522 fatalities were recorded in the country.
For its part, the Swedish Government announced yesterday an independent inquiry into the controversial strategy adopted against the pandemic, which made Sweden the country with the highest relative mortality rate due to COVID-19 in the world.
The US recorded 743 deaths due to COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, bringing the reported deaths to more than 105,000 since the beginning of the pandemic. This remains the country with the highest number of fatalities and confirmed cases worldwide.
Regarding Brazil, The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the worst of the pandemic in the country is yet to come. It is recalled that since a week ago, with more than a thousand deaths per day, this has been the country with the most daily deaths due to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, in the past 24 hours, Africa has surpassed the barrier of 150,000 infected, of whom 4,344 died, plus 116, in 54 countries, according to the latest pandemic data on the continent.
It was reported today that Chinese authorities have delayed the publication of the new coronavirus genome by more than a week, after several public laboratories have decoded it, depriving WHO of essential information to fight the pandemic.
Asked about a possible weakening of the new coronavirus, the director of the WHO Sanitary Emergency Program said that “one cannot take the risk” of believing this is true.
Russia today begins testing a drug – Afivavir – that has proven to be effective in 90% of COVID-19 cases, but its administration is forbidden to pregnant women.
Pharmaceutical company Gilead yesterday released the results of phase 3 clinical trial showing that the antiviral Remdesivir contributed to help the recovery of some patients infected with the new coronavirus.
A meta-analysis published yesterday in “The Lancet” and co-funded by WHO confirms that wearing face-masks, face-shields, and physical distance is the best way for a person to avoid, although not entirely, COVID-19 contagion or infect others.
According to some studies, the new coronavirus can remain in the air for more than 12 hours and reach distances above the two meters recommended by DGS and WHO, through the act of coughing, sneezing, speech or just a stronger breath.
The pandemic is forcing the Portuguese State to spend much more money than was anticipated and with an urgency that is sometimes incompatible with normal rules.
In a report published today, the Court of Auditors analyzes the risks and makes some recommendations. The response to the outbreak of COVID-19 has already led the Government to increase public spending, which has raised the country’s debt to its highest amount ever.
The government and social partners meet today to take discuss the measures related to the crisis caused by the new coronavirus and discuss the official Economic and Social Stabilization Plan.
The amount of support, within the scope of regional operational programs, allocated to companies that converted their production concerning COVID-19 more than quadrupled, from 26 to 108 million euros.
Overall, companies have already received more than 3.5 billion euros in support to withstand the impact due to the economic downturn, informed the Minister of Economy in the Parliament today.
The unemployment rate fell in March to 6.2%, according to the INE (Portuguese Statistics Bureau), but the institute stresses that COVID-19 is damaging the statistical calculation and notes that there is a greater transition to inactivity.
In the insurance sector, the economic impact of the crisis will be “the most violent” to date. The warning was made by the president of the Portuguese Insurance Association, José Galamba de Oliveira.
The Automobile Association of Portugal says that the automobile sector “is one of the most affected” by the pandemic crisis: in addition to the strong drop in sales (71.6%), there is also a “high number of workers in layoff”.
The Portuguese Association of Real Estate Developers and Investors today advanced with the Relançar program, which aims to attract investment to the sector.
Germany is on track to add volume to the already massive and historic economy support package approved in March. The new package in question is expected to be worth between 75 and 80 billion euros and is intended to support the economic recovery in the post-COVID-19 period.
In Spain, the number of unemployed registered at public employment services increased by 0.7%, which means a slowdown concerning the strong increase registered in March and April.
The French Government anticipates a recession of around 11% this year due to COVID-19, stressing that “the economic shock is extremely brutal”.
Italian airports lost 45 million passengers from March to May, as a result of the crisis and containment measures.
The Portuguese Stock Index PSI-20 opened today to rise 0.96% to a new high since March 10th.
European stock markets also traded on positive ground, following the performance of Asian markets, with investors focusing on data that points to the recovery of the global economy.