Friday, January 14th | COVID-19 Weekly Update
So far, the DGS has not yet communicated the most recent number of cases. The data known yesterday account for 1,774,477 infections recorded in Portugal since the pandemic, which resulted in 19,203 deaths from coronavirus. In this context, it should also be noted that 1,468,309 people in the country have already recovered from the disease.
THE PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
Even when Portugal has the highest number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic, it is one of the European Union countries with less severe measures within the scope of the restrictions imposed in the fight against COVID-19. On the other hand, the Government of Madeira decided to extend the contingency situation in the region until the 31st and maintain the pandemic control standards in force.
In this sense, Gustavo Tato Borges, president of the Association of Public Health Physicians, considers that teleworking is a favourable measure to combat the number of new cases. It should remain an option for all companies with the capacity to apply it. , even ceasing to be mandatory as of today.
In the meantime, the automatic issuance of provisional isolation declarations is already working. To access this declaration, it is no longer necessary to contact the SNS 24. In addition, the European Commission indicated that the problems in Portugal in issuing COVID-19 certificates had been resolved.
Regarding the vaccination process, self-scheduling is now available for people over 18 years of age vaccinated with Janssen, provided they were immunized with the first dose 90 or more days ago. In addition to these appointments, the portal is open to people aged 60 and over for the booster dose against COVID-19 and the flu vaccine. In the Azores, vaccination of children between the ages of five and 11 should start next Tuesday or Wednesday.
THE PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
According to provisional data from the WHO, the number of new infections by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus yesterday reached a daily world maximum of 3.4 million. Still, the curve of deaths attributed to COVID-19 remains stable.
In addition, the WHO announced that developing countries last month refused to receive about 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine because the expiration date was too short. The UNICEF leader, Etleva Kadilli, explained that these countries needed doses that could be stored long enough to plan vaccination campaigns better and immunize populations.
In the US, the Supreme Court blocked the proposal by the Joe Biden Administration to apply a mandatory vaccination plan in large companies. However, it allowed healthcare workers to work for public funds companies. In Greece, the measure that provides for monthly fines of 100 euros for people over 60 who are not vaccinated will come into force. The money raised will go to hospitals to fight the pandemic.
In turn, in the United Kingdom, the period of isolation for people infected with the new coronavirus will be reduced to five days from Monday, announced the Minister of Health, Sajid Javid.
On the other hand, China has strengthened prevention measures against COVID-19, while outbreaks scattered across the country appear on the eve of the Winter Olympic Games, which will take place in Beijing next month.
The WHO recommends two new treatments against COVID-19, increasing recommended therapies to five. The drugs in question are sotrovimab and baricitinib, but they should only be used in particular cases.
After the European Medicines Agency admitted that pregnant women are more likely to develop the most severe symptoms of COVID-19, a group of Scottish researchers from the University of Edinburgh is warning of the risks that infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 can have in the last month of pregnancy.
Doctors are warning about body pain and extreme lack of energy, a worrying side effect that patients infected with the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus should be aware of, even after recovering from the illness.
Tourism shows signs of recovery from the first year of the pandemic, but it is still a long way from what it was until 2019. INE data show an increase of around 40% in total overnight stays from January to November compared to the same period of 2020.
The vouchers issued by the agencies for trips cancelled until the end of September 2020 reached 100 million euros and are practically resolved, with the disputes not being “materially relevant”, guaranteed by the sector association.
In the real estate sector, the second year of the pandemic was marked by the strong appreciation of housing, with a 12.2% growth in house prices in mainland Portugal in 2021, according to a report by Confidencial Imobiliário. According to Eurostat, house prices registered a historic increase in the European Union, rising 9.2% in the European Union and 8.8% in the Eurozone in the third quarter of last year.
It should also be noted that the Eurozone registered a trade deficit of 1.5 billion euros in trade in goods in November last year, something that had not happened since 2014. Exports to the rest of the world in November accounted for 225.1 billion euros, a year-on-year increase of 14.4%. Internal trade in the Eurozone rose to €204.3 billion in November, a 22.1% increase over the same month in 2020.
The United Nations estimates that the world economy will grow 4% in 2022 and 3.5% in 2023, after an expansion of 5.5% in 2021, showing itself to be more optimistic, despite the economic recovery facing new waves of infections by COVID-19 and challenges in the labour market and supply chains. The United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs warned that tourism in Africa will only return to pre-pandemic levels in 2024.
In the early afternoon, the Lisbon Stock Exchange followed the negative trend of its European counterparts. The PSI-20 was down 0.34%, to 5,686.81 points, while in Germany, the DAX was down 0.76%, in the United Kingdom, the FTSE 100 was down 0.19%. The French CAC 40 was down 0.74%, and the Dutch AEX was 0.70%. The IBEX35 was down 0.38% in Spain, and the Italian FTSE MIB was down 1%.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Wall Street closed yesterday lower, pressured by the strong decline in technology and with investors digesting the decision of the US Supreme Court. The Dow Jones closed down 0.49%, and the S&P 500 dropped 1.42%, and, in turn, the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.51%.