COVID-19 | Daily Update

May 24, 2020

Wednesday, May 24th | COVID-19 Daily Update



The data released today by the Portuguese Health Directorate (DGS), in the daily epidemiological bulletin, indicate that in the last 24 hours, the number of people recovered increased from 7,705 to 17,549 (+127,76%). The sharp rise is explained by a change in the way the data is accounted for. 

In the same period, 14 more deaths and 152 new cases of COVID-19 infection were registered in Portugal. 

The number of fatalities rose from 1,302 to 1,316 (+1.08%), while confirmed cases increased from 30,471 to 30,623 (+0.50%).



The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said he had some reservations about the Spanish Government’s decision to open borders in July, considering that issues like this should be dealt with “in a bilateral climate”.

Yesterday, the Minister of Health said that she is studying financial incentives to recover medical appointments, diagnostic tests, and surgeries that were cancelled due to the pandemic. Regarding the reopening of pre-school education, Marta Temido explained that the Government is not considering generalized testing of workers. 

The president of the Association of Hospital Administrators, however, addressed several criticisms about the way Portugal responded to the pandemic, raising doubts about the quality of the ventilators acquired by the NHS. 

Infarmed has forbidden the distribution of some of the testing kits that are already being used in Portugal to carry out COVID-19 screening tests. The authority has doubts about the evidence of the safety and performance of the equipment. 

The Algarve Biomedical Center, which made the kits with screening tests, guarantees that so far there have been no problems and that everything has been properly tested. 

Since May 9th, the region of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley has registered more new infections than the North of the country. 

Localized outbreaks, some “relaxation” in the workplace, and the use of public transport are among the possible explanations of experts and authorities.



China’s Foreign Minister warned today that the positions of “certain US political forces” on the origin of the new coronavirus are putting both countries “on the verge of a new Cold War”. Wang Yi expressed the country’s readiness to cooperate in an international investigation that would allow the origin of the new coronavirus to be identified. 

The director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology denied any responsibility for the pandemic. 

China registered three new cases of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, two imported and one local.

In the USA, 103 deaths were recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 96,983. The country also has 18,467 more infected. A study by Imperial College London reveals that the new coronavirus may still be spreading across 24 North-American states.

In Europe, and according to AFP (French news agency), there are more than two million cases of infection. European economies are reopening, but there are already some signs of a negative evolution. 

In Germany, one of the first countries to lift social restrictions, new outbreaks have started to appear. Spain today enters a new period of the state of emergency, which runs until June 6th.

Russia today announced the lowest daily number of infected since May 1st, although it recorded a new daily death toll, with 153 deaths. 

The UK announced 282 new deaths yesterday, bringing the total number of deaths to almost 36,700, with 2,959 new cases of contagion in 24 hours. 

Italy recorded 119 deaths in 24 hours, which brings the death toll to more than 32,700. The current number of infected people is over 57,700.

In Latin America, Brazil, which has become the second country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, already has more than 22 thousand deaths. 

Mexico recorded 190 deaths and 3,059 new cases in the last 24 hours, while in Venezuela the confirmed cases increased by 239% in ten days, exceeding 1,000.

According to data from the African Union, the continent registers 3,246 deaths and more than 107 thousand cases of infection in 54 countries. 

AFP’s daily balance sheet, released at 8 pm yesterday, points out that the pandemic has already killed 339,758 people and infected 5.2 million worldwide.

In the meantime, young adults are being diagnosed with a rare inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19. 

In Europe, there are more than 230 children who have or have had this disease.



The Health and Social Affairs Commission of the Legislative Assembly of Madeira has advanced that it will take the “necessary steps” to promote in the region the use of human plasma in case of users with COVID-19 “in more advanced states and that may need this therapy ”. This specialized working group was asked to analyze the use of convalescent plasma.



The Portuguese President of the Republic sustained that the country needs an Amending or Supplementary Budget that allows, among other things, the extension of the current lay-off regime. 

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa considered that it will not be possible to do more until Brussels has approved a financial plan for the recovery of the economy.

However, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden yesterday presented a plan to stimulate the EU’s economic recovery that rejects any common debt financing mechanism, advocating a distribution through loans. 

Fectrans (Federation of Transports Workers) announced that it will travel, next Thursday, to the Presidency of the Ministers Council to demand that the Government solve the problems in passenger transport and the end of the lay-off. 

At gas stations, prices will register the biggest increase since January. It coincides with the gradual reopening of the economy and also with the increase in the use of the private car and public transport.

In the restaurant and tourism sector, there are complaints from AHRESP (Hotels and Restaurants Association). According to the association’s general secretary, the banks are putting obstacles on the micro-enterprises of the catering sector that want to access the credit lines created in the aftermath of the pandemic. 

As for the Textile and Clothing Technological Center (CITEVE), it has already invested around 500 thousand euros in new equipment to increase the response capacity in some tests within the scope of COVID-19.

For Angola, the UN expects a recession of 1.8% this year, “due to the collapse of oil, lower oil production and the impact of the pandemic of COVID-19”, which will follow the recovery of 1.5% in 2021.