Friday, January 21st | COVID-19 Weekly Update
The data revealed by the DGS indicate that, in the last 24 hours, 58,530 new cases of infection and 49 deaths associated with COVID-19 were recorded in Portugal. According to today’s epidemiological bulletin, there are now 2,118,125 confirmed cases and 19,496 deaths since the pandemic’s start. Regarding recovered patients, another 20,156 were counted, increasing the total number to 1,675,736.
THE PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The peak of the fifth wave of COVID-19 is being postponed, and experts estimate that around one million people are in isolation on election day, of which 800,000 must be over 18 years old.
Colonel Penha Gonçalves, the coordinator of the vaccination process against COVID-19 and flu, explains that, at this stage, the vaccination centres will remain active. Penha Gonçalves again appealed to all citizens to take the booster dose as soon as possible and assure that, now, this is the focus to control the pandemic.
These days, there is still not much information about BA.2, the new strain of the COVID-19 virus that derives from the Ómicron variant (BA.1). Still, it is confirmed that it is already circulating in Portugal, its size being unknown. current or what it could reach in the coming weeks. For now, there is at least “an introduction to the Algarve”.
Yesterday, the Directorate-General for Health opened the self-scheduling of the third dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 for people over 35 years old. The portal also allows appointments for people aged 60 or over for a booster dose and flu vaccine and those over 18 who have been vaccinated with Janssen at least 90 days ago.
In the Azores, Clélio Meneses, Secretary of Health for the Government, revealed yesterday that schools in the region would adopt the rules of the Directorate-General for Health, which only determine the isolation of positive cases COVID-19, instead of the entire class.
Meanwhile, INEM professionals in the field of mental health advocate a robust reinforcement of responses in the community, warning that requests for help have always increased after the peaks of the pandemic and that there are no quick results in this area.
THE PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
International regulators, including the European Medicines Agency, speak out against giving repeated booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines at short intervals, calling for a “long-term sustainable approach” to tackling the pandemic.
This, while the weekly number of COVID-19 cases “has dropped significantly” in Africa, as well as the number of deaths, for the first time since the peak of the fourth wave, induced by the Ómicron variant, the World Health Organization announced yesterday.
In Europe, Austria’s Parliament today passed the law on mandatory vaccination for all adults, making it the first country in the European Union to take such a measure to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, despite violent popular outcry.
French Prime Minister Jean Castex announced yesterday the relaxation of measures to contain COVID-19 from 2 February. Thus, using a mask will no longer be mandatory outdoors, as will teleworking.
Finland will also allow in-person voting for confined voters, but it will be done in outdoor spaces.
Durão Barroso, president of the Global Alliance for Vaccines, considers that, if the low number of people immunized in countries with lower incomes remains, there is a “substantial risk” of the entire planet being stuck “in an endless cycle of application of doses of reinforcement”.
The creators of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine yesterday claimed “strong protection” against the Ómicron variant of COVID-19, adding to similar statements by President Vladimir Putin.
The Porto IPO announced today that it would carry out a clinical study to assess the immune response to the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or immunotherapy.
According to information released today by the European Union’s statistical office, Portugal recorded a public debt of 130.5% of Gross Domestic Product in the third quarter of 2021.
According to statistics released yesterday, the number of sick leave totalled 182,615 in December 2021, an increase of 4.9% compared to November but a reduction of 36.9% compared to the same month of 2020.
At the same time, the president of the Lisbon Stock Exchange, Isabel Ucha, admits that the reference index should have fewer members after the new rules that come into force in March. However, she defends the change because “an index that does not serve investors, also does not serve issuers”.
The PSI-20 was halfway through today’s session down 1.00%. In Germany, the DAX was down 1.87%, in the United Kingdom, the FTSE 100 was down 1.10%, the French CAC 40 was down 1.67%, the Dutch AEX was down 1.85%. The IBEX35 dropped 0.92% in Spain, and the Italian FTSE MIB declined 1.64%.