Friday, February 4th| COVID-19 Weekly Update
The data revealed by the DGS indicate that, in the last 24 hours, 47,199 new cases of infection and 50 deaths associated with COVID-19 were recorded in Portugal. According to today’s epidemiological bulletin, there are now 2,843,029 confirmed cases and 20,127 deaths since the pandemic’s start. Regarding recovered patients, 46,469 more were counted, which increases the total number to 2,180,109.
THE PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
People aged 18 or over can, since yesterday, receive the booster dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 in the “open house” modality, according to the Ministry of Health website.
This is when there are more than 22,380 suspected adverse reactions to vaccines against COVID-19 registered in Portugal. According to Infarmed, until the end of the last month, there were 126 cases of death reported in the elderly, without demonstrating the cause-effect relationship.
The director-general of Health, Graça Freitas, admitted yesterday that people infected but without symptoms of COVID-19 may be exempted from isolation. This issue and the use of the mask only at times of greater risk are being studied by the scientific community.
To date, less than half of children aged five to 11 who are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine have been vaccinated. This is due to the high number of infections in this age group. Still, there are doubts about the safety of vaccines, and the lack of consensus in the pediatric community on the need for the vaccine also “left parents confused”.
It should also be noted that the number of signatories of an open letter, signed by doctors of various specialities, which calls for the suspension of immunization of healthy children aged between five and 11 years, rose from 27 to 91 until more scientific evidence demonstrates “in a robust and unequivocal” the advantages.
As for rapid antigen tests, they are now valid for 24 hours, according to a decree-law that amends the measures regarding the COVID-19 digital certificate of the European Union, which was approved by the Government yesterday.
THE PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND IN THE WORLD
The Spanish Government will lift the mandatory use of a mask abroad next Tuesday, a measure in force since December 24 to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Spanish Minister of Health revealed today.
The new rules to combat the pandemic, which came into force in Italy, took European tourists with a vaccination certificate by surprise who had not yet received the booster dose against COVID-19. Without it, they cannot consume drinks or food in cafes, bars or restaurants, stay in hotels, enter museums or even use public transport.
The Austrian Parliament also yesterday gave final approval to a law that requires all Austrian residents of legal age to be vaccinated against COVID-19, imposing fines of up to 3,600 euros for those who do not.
According to a survey released by the Brazilian Medical Association, the overwhelming majority of Brazilian doctors (87.3%) were infected by the coronavirus in the last two months.
India has already exceeded half a million deaths from COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, according to official data released today.
A study by Portuguese scientists shows that the Ómicron variant has a 75% lower risk of hospitalization than Delta. One of the authors, a former director of the DGS, says that restrictions should be eased.
There is a little-known symptom to add to the list of numbers caused by COVID-19. It’s called Chondritis, and it’s a painful inflammation of the cartilage that joins the ribs to the sternum, causing sharp, stabbing pain, usually in the left side of the back, lasting for two days.
The first liver transplant was performed in Portugal in a patient with acute liver failure who was positive for COVID-19. The operation took place at the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de Coimbra and went as planned, confirmed the institution.
The dynamics of collective bargaining remained in 2021, still below the pre-pandemic level, with the number of workers covered in the renewal or first publication of conventions and agreements not exceeding 641,231, 27% less than two years earlier, according to the sum of already complete monthly data published by the Directorate-General for Employment and Labor Relations.
Today, the president of the Associação da Hotelaria de Portugal, Raúl Martins, considered “a good decision” to end the mandatory submission of a negative test for COVID-19, which will allow a new recovery in the sector, in March.
The PSI-20 was up 0.20% in the early afternoon. Among the main European markets, the French CAC 40 was down 1.04%, the Spanish IBEX 35 was down 1.47%, the German DAX was down 1.58%, and the British FTSE 100 was also red 0.11%.