Wednesday, April 6th | COVID-19 Daily Update
The Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) announced today, in its daily epidemiological bulletin, the existence of 311 deaths and a total of 11,730 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Portugal.
The number of deaths rose from 295 to 311 (+5.4) in the last 24 hours, while the number of infected people increased from 11,278 to 11,730, plus 452, which represents an increase of 4%.
The number of recovered cases rose from 75 to 140. There are 1099 people hospitalized, 270 of them in Intensive Care Units.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The Minister of Health was interviewed yesterday by RTP TV. Marta Temido said the figures for the past few days are encouraging, despite the “extremely aggressive” context. She also announced that the DGS asked for an opinion on the widespread use of face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and was advised to consider the measure.
In an interview with “Sol” newspaper, the Secretary of State for Health assured that the country will be prepared to face the worst scenarios.
At yesterday’s daily press conference, the Minister admitted “growing pressure” on hospitalization and underlined that hospitals should only be used in urgent cases. For her part, the Director-General of Health explained that the age distribution of patients hospitalized in intensive care follows the age distribution of deaths. Graça Freitas also stressed that the use of gloves on the street can be “counterproductive and give a false sense of security”.
The Ministry of Health informed that it hired 500 nurses to reinforce the fight against the pandemic in the National Health Service.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The US recorded more than 1,200 deaths in 24 hours caused by COVID-19 yesterday. According to Johns Hopkins University, the total number of deaths since the beginning of the pandemic has already exceeded nine thousand.
In the last 24 hours, Spain recorded an additional 637 deaths from COVID-19, the lowest figure in a single day since March 24th. The balance of victims now stands at 135,032 infected and 13,055 deaths.
Yesterday, Italian authorities reported that deaths due to the outbreak were 15,887 yesterday, 525 more than Saturday. It was the day with the least deaths since March 19. Despite this progress, the authorities of these two countries are cautious and underline the importance of sticking to isolation measures.
Germany today recorded fewer newly diagnosed cases (3,677) and a decrease in the daily number of fatalities (92) compared to yesterday’s figures. In Belgium, hospital discharge for affected people has exceeded the number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began.
Sweden may soon have to abandon its more relaxed approach, at a time when the number of deaths has already reached 401 and the number of confirmed cases exceeds six thousand.
The scientific director of Johnson & Johnson believes that the vaccine being developed has an “80% probability of success”. For the development of this vaccine, Janssen, a subsidiary of this American pharmaceutical company, has made an investment equivalent to 900 million euros.
In Australia, a team of researchers said there is a drug that can eliminate COVID-19. It is an antiparasitic that is used, for example, to kill lice.
In Germany, the Erlangen University Hospital has received authorization from health authorities to produce a therapeutic plasma that can be used to treat patients with COVID-19.
In Portugal, the President of the Republic meets today with the leaders of the largest banks, via videoconference, to discuss banking responses to companies and families in the crisis caused by the new coronavirus.
The need for hospital equipment, protective materials, diagnostic tests and medicines for patients in COVID-19 led to the conclusion of public contracts worth a total of 75 million euros. Most purchases were made by DGS.
The Government recommended that wholesale food retailers adopt, “if necessary”, deterrent measures against “hoarding situations”. On the other hand, the Government gave authorization to the wholesale food chains to sell essential products to the general public and not only to retailers.
The Minister of Labor and Social Security revealed today that more than 33 thousand companies have already asked to join the simplified lay-off scheme. Yesterday, she said that more than 100 thousand independent workers applied for extraordinary support from the Government.
The Portuguese Government decreed, in “Diário da República”, that the sale of cars, motorcycles, and machinery for agriculture is suspended during the state of emergency. According to the automotive industry, the closure of factories in Europe and North America could cost more than US$ 100 billion if the disturbances caused by COVID-19 are to continue until the end of April.
This morning, European stock markets were trading higher, as the containment measures implemented by the various countries begin to give encouraging signals to investors.
The Portuguese stock index PSI-20 gained 0.55%, while the European Stoxx 600 advanced 2.47%.
The stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Paris registered gains of more than 3%, while Milan and Madrid added more than 2%.