COVID-19 | Daily Update

April 4, 2020

Wednesday, April 4th | COVID-19 Daily Update



The Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) announced today, in its epidemiological bulletin, the registration of 266 deaths and 10,524 cases of COVID-19 in Portugal.

The number of deaths rose from 246 to 266, an increase of 8.13%, while the number of confirmed infected people rose from 9,886 to 10,524, an increase of 6.45%, the lowest to date.

The number of recovered cases increased from 68 to 75. There are currently a total of 81,087 suspected cases, of which 5,518 are awaiting analysis results. 65,045 tests were negative.



The Portuguese Prime Minister admitted yesterday that all cases of coronavirus infection may not have been accounted for in the deaths recorded in March, above expectations. António Costa gave an interview to Rádio Renascença where he addressed the various points of impact of the pandemic in Portugal and called on Europe not to give up on itself. 

The University of Oxford says that the measures to contain the outbreak adopted in Portugal were among the fastest in the EU, while Italy, Spain, and France were the ones that took longer to react. 

Imperial College, on the other hand, estimated the impact of the reduction of social contact in 202 countries, and the scenarios for Portugal show that the distance of the population allows reducing the number of deaths to a quarter. 

In a document released yesterday, the Portuguese Ethics Council for the Life Sciences says that the measures taken by the Government to control the spread of the coronavirus are justified.

Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Health said that by the end of April more than 24 million face masks will arrive in Portugal. António Lacerda also praised the national industry for supporting the NHS. For its part, the DGS extended the recommendation to use surgical masks for professionals “outside health institutions”.

And it turned out that the new coronavirus affects men and women differently. After a month of registering the first case in Portugal, it appears that out of a total of 9,886 cases, 5,509 women and 4,377 men fell ill. Mortality data reveal, however, that females offer greater resistance to the virus.



According to John Hopkins University, the number of people infected with COVID-19 on the American continent has practically tripled in the last week, rising from 115,000 to 312,000, with the United States becoming the focus of the pandemic. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has come to advise on the use of “non-medical” masks to combat the pandemic.

Spain surpassed Italy yesterday in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus and is already the second country in the world with more cases. However, in the past 24 hours, the neighbouring country has recorded 809 deaths, the lowest number since last Saturday. Yesterday, the Civil Protection of Italy announced an additional 766 deaths, bringing the total to 14,681 deaths. Also yesterday, the UK Ministry of Health informed about the record of 684 more deaths among people infected with COVID-19, raising the total to 3,605.

After 40 days without any new infections, Macau has had 33 new cases since mid-March. Patient number 43 is a woman who was recently in Portugal.

In Brazil, the situation is getting worse. The country has 359 deaths and 9,056 infected by the new coronavirus, with an increase of 60 deaths and 1,146 confirmed cases.

The WHO warned yesterday of the increase in cases of people younger with COVID-19 sick who end up in intensive care or dying, a trend for which there is still no explanation.

According to a balance sheet by the France Presse agency, updated at 7 pm yesterday, the COVID-19 pandemic has killed at least 57,474 people and infected more than one million worldwide since its appearance.



Australian scientists have identified a drug, Ivermectin, which can neutralize the COVID-19 virus in less than 48 hours. For now, the studies were only in the laboratory.

Portugal is already preparing to develop experimental blood therapy. It is not a drug, but it is one of several options available with which medicine is trying to treat COVID-19, including plasma collection from patients. 

At the same time, researchers from the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Lisbon, the Gulbenkian Institute of Science and the Institute of Experimental and Technological Biology are jointly developing serological tests to assess the population’s immunity.



The European Commission admitted yesterday that there was a “political controversy” about the issuance of so-called coronabonds and, despite guaranteeing that “all options” will be considered, it expressed a preference for credit from the European Stability Mechanism to face the crisis generated by the current pandemic.

In Portugal, CIP (Industrial Trade Association) presented the Prime Minister an emergency plan to support the economy, with unconventional measures such as the transformation of State guarantees into non-repayable incentives.

The Government is appealing to APED (Wholesale Retailers Trade Association) food retail associates to find a solution for the consumption of national products that, with the closure of restaurants due to the pandemic, are experiencing difficulties in sales. This is at a time when the increase in the consumption of essential goods due to social isolation means that there are currently more requests from factories, which are reinforcing their production to the limit of capacity.

A survey carried out by AHRESP (Restaurants Trade Association) gives a black scenario in the catering and hospitality sector. 30% of companies guarantee that in March they will no longer be able to pay wages to workers and 70% will not be able to pay wages in April if state support does not arrive on time. And more than 22 thousand companies have already resorted to the lay-off regime to avoid closings and dismissals of workers.

Altogether there are already more than 425 thousand workers in a lay-off, more than the total number of registered unemployed.

Next Monday, the President of the Republic will meet with the presidents of the five largest national banks in Portugal, in a videoconference where the effects of the pandemic in the economy will be discussed as will the support that the banks may grant to Portuguese families and companies.

The IMF estimates, based on the first scenario, that Portugal may lose all the wealth it has created in the past four years. For now, the most adverse scenario of Banco de Portugal points to a recession of around 5%, but the experts at Católica Lisbon Forecasting Lab already are anticipating a collapse of 20% if the economy is paralyzed for six months.

Due to the restrictions on circulation during pandemic times, the Government will grant time tolerance in the coming days 9th and 13th of April, in the Easter period, to all workers who exercise public functions in the services of the direct administration of the State.

Because of the application of these containment measures, Portugal is emitting 52 thousand tons of CO2 less per day, by estimations of the environmental organization ZERO.



The PSI-20 (Portuguese Stock Index) closed the last session of the week with a loss of 0.52%, after three days of significant fluctuations.

In Europe, the outlook was no better, with the EuroStoxx 50 closing with a fall of 0.95%.

FTSE 100 fell 1.18%, CAC retreated 1.57%, Dax lost 0.47% and the Italian FTSE MIB led the losses by falling 2.67%. Madrid’s IBEX countered the trend and rose 0.11%.