Wednesday, May 31st | COVID-19 Daily Update
In Portugal, in the last 24 hours, there were 14 more deaths and 297 new people infected with COVID-19, according to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin.
The data revealed shows that the number of fatalities went from 1,396 to 1,410 (+1,00%), while confirmed cases increased from 32,203 to 32,500 (+0.92%).
Nine in ten of the new infections registered in Portugal since yesterday happened in the Lisbon area.
The number of recovered patients increased by 1.16%, to a total of 19,409.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The COVID-19 Transmissibility Risk indicator was again above 1 and is now at 1.02, worsened mainly by numbers in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Region (RLVT).
The so-called RT is a fundamental indicator of the country’s reopening.
Measures in the region aiming to contain outbreaks and transmission chains will be stepped up, and the Government has announced mass testing of workers in the most affected economic sectors.
Yesterday, in the illegal neighbourhood of Jamaica (Seixal municipality), where 19 cases were detected, several informal coffee-shops and bars that usually concentrate many people were provisionally closed.
The Government will identify alternative places for home confinement in cases where the houses do not have the habitability conditions to fulfil the isolation, said the Minister of Health yesterday. This is one of the measures of the containment strategy for the cases registered in the RLVT.
The National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge did not evaluate or issue any opinion on the test kits that Infarmed prohibited until doubts about the safety and performance report were clarified. The institute stresses that it is not within its competence to validate or certify medical devices, as is the case of swabs.
Several doctors specialized in public health consider that the restrictions adopted in the country, regarding the pandemic, were necessary and justified in the context of uncertainty. The clarification comes in the face of the criticisms that have been heard about a supposed oversizing of the response to the numbers of SARS-CoV-2 virus in Portugal.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The pandemic caused by the new coronavirus has already infected more than six million people worldwide, two-thirds of which in Europe and the USA.
According to the latest AFP (French news agency) balance sheet, 6,000,867 cases of contamination have been officially diagnosed in 196 countries and territories since the epidemic began.
In the last 24 hours, 11 more fatalities related to the new coronavirus in Germany have been confirmed, bringing the number of deaths in Germany to 8,500 since the pandemic began.
In Italy, 416 more cases were recorded and 111 people died, but despite the slight increase in numbers, the epidemiological curve is in a continuous decline.
The United Kingdom recorded an additional 2,400 new cases of infection in the last 24 hours and 215 more deaths.
In the USA, 960 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours. Altogether, 103 thousand deaths have been registered in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
In Brazil, the state of São Paulo, the region of the country most affected by the pandemic, surpassed the mark of 100 thousand people infected by the disease and registered a new daily record of contamination. As a whole, Brazil accounted for 956 deaths in the last 24 hours and overtook France, becoming the fourth country in the world with the highest number of deaths.
In the last 24 hours, the African continent has surpassed the barrier of 4,000 deaths due to COVID-19, accounting for 4,069 deaths, out of a total of 141,535 infected, according to the Africa CDC.
Among the Portuguese-speaking African countries, Guinea-Bissau has the most infections, with 1,256 cases and eight deaths counted.
Across the spectrum, with less than 17,000 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and 867 deaths, the controlled outbreak in Japan, without recourse to isolation, is intriguing experts.
There are many and varied symptoms and many diseases that can be associated with COVID-19: no less than 35. This is the reality of the new disease that has taken over the world and that a group of researchers from the University of Porto has just informed about, warning of the need for further studies.
The COVID-19 pandemic had several economic effects in Portugal, from the prediction of the biggest recession in times of democracy for the year 2020 to the near-paralysis of some sectors of economic activity.
The “Great Confinement”, as the IMF called it, led to an unprecedented forecast of a 3% drop in the world economy, dragged by a 5.9% contraction in the USA, 7.5% in the Euro Zone and 5,2% in Japan.
Nevertheless, according to a new set of daily activity indicators from Bloomberg Economics, almost all monitored economies have seen activity pick up since late March and early April, although no country is yet close to pre-virus levels.
Germany, Japan, and France are among those that recover the most, while activity in Spain and the United Kingdom remains relatively weak.
In Portugal, the Minister of Public Administration again assumed that wage raises in 2021 are not guaranteed and says that, although it is not a priority, she cannot “exclude outright” the possibility of freezing careers.
Companies that intend to give up support for simplified layoffs, totally or partially, can do so since yesterday.
The UK is preparing to launch yet another stimulus package for the British economy, focused on job creation and the development of infrastructure projects. The detailed plan is expected to be announced before the summer.
Standard Bank’s economic studies department believes that Angola is expected to remain in recession this year and the next one too, and may prolong negative growth until 2023, essentially due to the pandemic and cheap oil prices.
The same entity considers that the Mozambican economy should register a negative economic growth of 0.9% this year, recovering in 2021 to 4.2%.
Many oil operators and analysts estimate a slow and uncertain recovery in demand for raw materials. According to experts, it is likely that many of the weakest refineries may have to close permanently.
Only 13% of hedge funds made money in March and April, according to data compiled by Bloomberg (Financial news agency).
In March, several pessimists made fortunes by betting on falling stocks but ended up losing money in April.