COVID-19 | Daily Update

May 21, 2020

Wednesday, May 21th | COVID-19 Daily Update



The Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) announced today that in the last 24 hours there have been another 14 deaths and 252 new cases of COVID-19 infection.

According to the daily epidemiological bulletin, the number of fatalities rose from 1,263 to 1,277(+1.11%), while confirmed cases increased from 29,660 to 29,912 (+0.85%). 

The number of people who recovered from the infection remained at 6,452 (+0.0%).



The European Commission (EC) points out, in the assessment to the country within the scope of the European Semester, released yesterday, that Portugal neglected investment in certain areas of the Health system, namely in “long-term and continuous care”, and this was reflected in “rates of higher contamination and mortality ”in this pandemic crisis. 

The Commission advises the Government to go further in the measures to cover the social impacts of the crisis.

The Inspectorate-General of Education will audit student assessments to curb grade inflation, in the context of the pandemic, according to the Minister of Education, who guarantees that there will be disciplinary proceedings whenever justified.  

Still, on Education, the Government increased the budget for the provision of meals in school canteens due to the pandemic for this year and the next two.



There are now more than 5 million people infected since the beginning of the pandemic. 

In the last 24 hours, the US recorded 1,369 deaths from COVID-19, 167 fewer than yesterday, bringing the total number of deaths to 93,214, according to an independent report by Johns Hopkins University. 

A nurse from North Carolina reveals some people are attending parties to be infected with COVID-19 (Corona parties). The goal is to beat the disease and thus become immune to it. Health authorities around the globe already advised against this wrongful practice.

The President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, yesterday accused his Colombian counterpart, Iván Duque, of a plan to infect Venezuelans who returned from Colombia with COVID-19.  

Brazil opened yesterday the door to the use of hydroxychloroquine for mild cases of COVID-19, which continues to advance in Chile, Peru and other Latin American countries – while it seems to be giving way in Europe.  

Mexico reported 424 deaths, the highest number of deaths since the outbreak began, according to official figures. 

In Africa, the death toll has risen to 2,997 today, with more than 95,000 infected in 54 countries on the continent.

The origin of the coronavirus that caused the pandemic continues to intrigue scientists from around the world and more and more countries are pressing for independent research on it.



A Chinese laboratory believes it has developed a bivalent drug that could stop the COVID-19 pandemic before next winter.  

At the same time, two studies released yesterday by the Boston Virology Center appear to show that monkeys infected once with the new virus are immune to subsequent reinfection, and the authors believe it may be a sign that the same can apply to humans.

While there is no vaccine or treatment yet, disinfectants are the best friends in preventing the spread of the new coronavirus (to be used in surfaces only).

A group of researchers from the Wolfson College of Chemical Engineering in Israel has developed and produced “smart disinfectants” that remain chemically active over a long period.



Companies are postponing the return of some workers to the offices, and the Government admits to revising the remote working rules later this month, also admitting to extend the simplified lay-off regime. 

Next Monday and Tuesday, the Prime Minister will hear political parties with parliamentary seats on the supplementary budget, which he wants to present to the Parliament in June.

However, it became known that the Government rejected the binding proposals presented by the CGD bank in Brazil and decided to relaunch the process when “market conditions” are met, taking into account “the current epidemiological context”. 

The capital injection in TAP should not be enough to prevent a reduction in the personnel and fleet of the Portuguese airline. It is estimated that there is a 25% drop in aeroplanes and 10% in employees. 

Meanwhile, EasyJet has announced that it will resume flights from 15 June.

According to European Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, the need for ambitious reforms foreseen in the Franco-German proposal for an EU recovery fund will not give rise to austerity programs as in the previous crisis.



The Portuguese stock exchange opened with a fall, with the PSI-20 dropping 1.36% to 4,165.73 points, breaking the cycle of increases that lasted for four sessions. 

The trend in Lisbon is the same as that seen in the main stock exchanges in Europe. 

Negative sentiment reigns at a time when tensions between the United States and China have heightened again after the US Senate passed a bill that could ban some Chinese companies from listing in the United States.

Analysts seem more optimistic about the behaviour of the markets. In almost two hundred stock investment notes, only 7% are negative, of which only one is attributed by a national entity.