Friday, January 7th | COVID-19 Weekly Update
So far, the DGS has not yet communicated the most recent number of cases. Hence, the known numbers remain at 1,539,050 cases of infection and 19,054 deaths from coronaviruses. The number of people recovered remains at 1,272,556.
THE PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
On the first day of the new exclusive vaccination period, almost 50,000 children between the ages of five and 11 were vaccinated against COVID-19 yesterday. About 23 thousand people belonging to the school community’s vaccination priority group were also vaccinated. During the night, access to the portal for self-scheduling of vaccines was re-established. At the same time, Infarmed reported that only six of the 95,797 children vaccinated up to December reported adverse reactions associated with vaccination.
Carlos Robalo Cordeiro, who integrates the Crisis Office for COVID-19 of the Medical Association, believes that new measures make sense, but maintains that there is a lack of reinforcement of the NHS resources and to reduce the interval of the second dose for children.
Data from the sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 genome in the country show high heterogeneity in the community circulation of the new variant in different regions of the country. Even with a delay and lower values than other regions of the country, cases associated with Ómicron in the Algarve have increased more and more since the variant was identified there.
According to the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention map, Portugal and Madeira remained in the most severe category. At the same time, the Azores are already at extreme risk. The European continent remains in the red.
THE PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control does not recommend reducing isolation for non-vaccinated against COVID-19, but admits it for those inoculated, although warning that the shorter this period, the greater the “residual risk”.
For its part, the WHO has warned that Omicron will not be the last strain of concern for the coronavirus, stressing that opportunities remain for the virus to spread and generate new variants. Currently, the cases of infections in South Africa by SARS-CoV-2 have been decreasing, but Omicron dominates them. Raquel Viana, head of a private group of laboratories in the country, explains the “timeline” of this variant.
The European Union has registered more than one million new cases in the last 24 hours, representing a new record of daily cases since the pandemic’s beginning. The British health service has been facing a shortage of infected or in isolation professionals. Thus, the Government sent 200 soldiers to hospitals in London. In France, because of hospitals in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region, the Government cancelled the obligation to quarantine health professionals infected with the virus. They can continue to work as long as they have no symptoms.
Across the Atlantic, nearly 1,000 children have been hospitalized in the US, a new daily high since the start of the pandemic. In the last two weeks, the number of hospitalized children infected with COVID-19 has almost tripled due to the spread of the Omicron variant. In Peru, the pandemic left a record of nearly 98,000 children orphaned by their father, mother or caregiver, announced the Government.
In China, Macau announced the extension of the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to the entire population, aged 18 or over, and with two doses already taken. This is the second stage of vaccination with the third dose of vaccine.
However, two new drugs that reduce mortality from COVID-19 will be available later this month or, at the latest, in February. Tests did so far reveal effectiveness between 30% and 90%.
A new study found that, even months after recovery from the new coronavirus infection, high levels of antibodies can attack an individual’s organs and tissues. These results may be relevant given the evidence of post-SARS-CoV-2 syndromes.
An investigation in China found that the Omicron variant may have mutated from mice before infecting humans. The rapid accumulation of Omicron mutations that allowed the variant to break out has raised questions among scientists about its origins in humans and other mammals.
The Minister of Labor, Ana Mendes Godinho, said that one in three people was covered by the extraordinary measures created to respond to the pandemic, which has already cost 4,865 million euros to Social Security.
The Government extended the obligation of teleworking until next Friday. Still, the rules raise several doubts about the payment of additional expenses to employees.
The devastating effects of the pandemic on civil aviation are already accounted for. The National Civil Aviation Authority quantifies this impact with losses of 1.5 billion euros in 2020, a “historic maximum”, in a sector that lost 9.2% (2,214) workers.
Outside, Eurostat says that the year-on-year inflation rate will have reached 5% in the Eurozone in December, an estimate above the values expected by economists. The most significant contribution to the rise in prices in European countries was energy, with prices rising by 26%. On the other hand, the European Commission reports that the economic sentiment retreated in December in the Eurozone and the European Union. For the first time in a year, employment expectations also decreased.
It should also be noted that interest in working from anywhere soared with the COVID-19 pandemic and young people were more affected by unemployment than older people, according to a Hays report. In the 34 markets where the company operates, the unemployment rate increased from 4.3% in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 5.5% in the following year.
This morning, the Lisbon Stock Exchange continued to rise slightly, with the PSI-20 advancing 0.11% to 5,601.85 points. The leading European stock exchanges traded with a slight downtrend.
Yesterday, Wall Street closed down again, in a session where the Dow Jones dropped 0.47%, the S&P 500 retreated 0.10%, and, in turn, the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.13%, with the North indices. Americans oscillate between gains and losses throughout the day.