Wednesday, April 5th | COVID-19 Daily Update
According to the data released today by the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS), Portugal has now a total of 11.278 confirmed to be infected COVID-19 (754 more than Saturday, representing a growth rate of 7.2%), and 295 deceased.
Until now, 75 people are considered to be cured, 1.084 are hospitalized, 267 of them in intensive care units. The North region still has the highest number of confirmed infections in Portugal (6.530).
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
A plane chartered by the Portuguese government arrived in Lisbon today with medical equipment from China, including 144 ventilators and respiratory protection masks, to be used by the Portuguese NHS. Yesterday, the Minister of Health said that 80,000 swabs and 260,000 tests for the diagnosis of COVID-19 are being distributed. The director-general of Health said that Portugal could soon join countries such as Germany and the United Kingdom, which are studying the issue of “immunity certificates”.
The evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal, with the increase in critically ill patients, forced INEM (Medical Emergency Agency) to activate the “National Situation Room”, which only happens at exceptional times.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The number of fatalities in Spain has declined again in the last 24 hours, recording 674 deaths, and a total of 12,418 deaths by COVID-19. The Spanish Government extended the state of emergency for another two weeks. In Italy, yesterday there was a reduction in the number of patients in intensive care units for the first time, on a day when 681 more people died by COVID-19.
Also yesterday, the United States surpassed the barrier of 300,000 confirmed cases of infection, according to Johns Hopkins University. The state of New York had a record of 630 deaths in a single day.
According to a balance sheet released yesterday by French news agency AFP, the pandemic has killed 63,437 people worldwide, having infected more than 1.2 million.
Japan has announced that it will accelerate the production of Avigan, an experimental drug to treat COVID-19 infection, which will be made available free of charge to countries that request it for testing.
Meanwhile, Portuguese pharmaceutical company Hovione, who is participating in the discovery of an unprecedented molecule to treat patients with the new coronavirus, says that a new drug may arrive in the fall this year.
“Atena”, one of the two ventilators that are being developed in Portugal, is already built and currently undergoing tests, and should be ready for delivery by the end of this month.
Mário Centeno, Portuguese Finance Minister, and Eurogroup President defended in an interview with several European media, the postponement of the debate on coronabonds until after the crisis caused by COVID-19 and the concentration on the measures where there is consensus.
The European Commission yesterday gave the “green light” to two packages of Portuguese state support, budgeted at 13 billion euros to support the economy in the face of the pandemic. With this authorization, the Government admits to increasing support to the economy and companies.
The CCP (Commerce Trade Association) president warns that the support to the Portuguese businesses will have to last “at least one and a half to two years”.
The Portuguese Ministry of Agriculture has announced that it is anticipating payments of EU funds to farmers to help them cope with the impacts of the pandemic.
Almost 32.000 companies have already resorted to the simplified lay-off regime, while more than 552 thousand workers are working from home. Collective workers’ dismissal processes have also increased.
In the aviation sector, the main European companies and their alliance groups are starting to negotiate public aid plans with the governments of their countries.