Wednesday, May 15th | COVID-19 Daily Update
The Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) announced today that in the last 24 hours there have been six more deaths and 264 new cases of COVID-19 infection.
According to that entity’s epidemiological bulletin, the number of fatalities rose to 1,190 (+0.51%), while confirmed cases increased from 28,319 to 28,583 (0.93%).
The number of people recovered is currently at 3,328, 13 more than yesterday (+4.07%).
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The first analysis of Portuguese deconfinement is optimistic.
According to the research made by the National School of Public Health, only 2% more of the Portuguese left home. Experts point out the civility of the population and baby steps in the return to the new normal.
The Government also appeals to the discipline of the Portuguese, while studying the implementation of a “kind of traffic light” in the access to the beaches.
DGS decided to put all the rules together in a manual of good practices, having released the first volume yesterday.
The Secretary of State for Health guarantees that the individual protection face masks against COVID-19 “have reached the entire population”, including the neediest people.
The results of the first serological screening in a sample of health professionals reveal that the exposure to the disease in the last two months was ten times higher than the infection rate identified by the diagnostic test.
Researchers from the Faculty of Medicine of Porto announced that they are implementing a protocol to optimize non-invasive ventilation in patients with COVID-19, through its real-time and continuous monitoring.
FCT has 500,000 euros to finance studies that investigate the impact of the pandemic on gender inequalities and domestic violence.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
More than 300,000 people died worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 80% of which in Europe and the USA.
The death toll in Africa has risen to 2,556, with more than 75,000 infected in 54 countries, with the north of the continent remaining the region most affected by the disease.
In Europe, Spain recorded 138 deaths in the last 24 hours, a decrease from 217 yesterday.
The number of new cases in Germany is 913 and the number of deaths was 101, a value similar to those recorded during the last days.
The French government reacted to the Sanofi controversy after this pharmaceutical company guaranteed that it would give priority to the USA in receiving the first supplies of any vaccine for COVID-19.
The CEO of the pharmaceutical company has already ensured that the vaccine will be available worldwide.
Russia accounted for more than 10,000 cases of infection with the new coronavirus, on the day it launched a major testing campaign to try to establish the prevalence of antibodies in the population.
The number of active COVID-19 cases in China has dropped below 100, for the first time since January. It has also been a month since the country had someone dying from the disease.
Recent studies in several countries show that only a small fraction of the population in those countries has been infected. Experts are concerned about the low rate of coronavirus infection to achieve the so-called group immunity.
Virologist Pedro Simas, a researcher at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, explains that SARS-CoV-2 can only accommodate five to six mutations. “The vaccine does not stop working because of mutations in the coronavirus”, he says.
Two more studies call into question the usefulness and the uselessness of hydroxychloroquine in the fight against COVID-19. Because it is new and unknown, SARS-coV-2 has caused an anomalous amount of scientific studies, with analyzes ranging from antibodies to particles in faeces. Among these lines of research, there is also one that analyzed how speaking softly reduces the risk of contagion.
With the two weeks of confinement at the end of March, the Portuguese economy has approached the worst results on record.
According to the INE (Portuguese Statistics Bureau), Portuguese GDP fell 3.9% during the first three months of the year compared to the previous quarter, placing the year-on-year change at a negative value of 2.4%.
Finance Minister Mário Centeno indicated yesterday, in the Parliament, that the Government will only make new macroeconomic forecasts after Brussels shows the Recovery Plan.
The Government and the social partners will meet again today to assess the impact of the crisis caused by the pandemic, a meeting that will be attended by the Prime Minister.
Among CIP’s (Industry Confederation) proposals is the creation of a fund for the capitation of companies of three billion euros.
The Government wants to relaunch the economy with public works, but economists are divided on the volume of public investment in this recovery phase.
Next month Portugal will continue not to allow flights to and from the country. Travel outside the EU is prohibited.
In the EU, in the first quarter of the year, GDP decreased by 2.6% year-on-year and 3.3% year-on-year The Eurozone economy fell 3.2% year-on-year.
The EU’s three largest economies are already in technical recession as they have accumulated two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.
China’s industrial production recorded a 3.9% year-on-year growth in April, the first increase of the year after suffering a sharp drop in the first quarter due to measures to halt the spread of COVID-19.
The G20 promises to avoid imposing trade barriers on essential products, such as food, during the pandemic.
The Lisbon Stock Exchange trades on the positive ground today, with the PSI-20 starting to rise 1.27%, after four consecutive falling sessions.
The world stock markets seem to have already forgotten the dark days of March and, less than two months later, the recovery is already close to 30% in both Europe and the USA.
For now, the stock exchanges have managed to recover about half of the money lost, but remain below the waterline for the year.
MSCI World is down 13%, the S&P 500 is down 9%, the Stoxx 600 is down 16.5% and the PSI-20 is down 19% in 2020. And the full recovery may take longer.