Wednesday, July 15th | COVID-19 Daily Update
The Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) today informed about the registration, in the last 24 hours, of eight more deaths and 375 new cases of infection by COVID-19 in Portugal.
According to its epidemiological bulletin, the number of deaths rose from 1,668 to 1,676 (+0.48%), while the number of confirmed cases increased from 47,051 to 47,426 (+0.80%).
As for the number of people recovered, there are now a total of 32,110, plus 560 (+1.78%).
Braga district did not register any new infections over the last 24 hours.
The total number of infections in Braga county is now 1260 (four new infections from the 13th to the 14th of July, after registering 1256 cases for over one month).
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
Continental Portugal will be kept on alert until the 31st of July, the Ministers’ Council decided yesterday. The decision thus prolongs the state currently in force across the country, including the biggest restrictions in the Greater Lisbon area.
The Government has approved sanctions for airports and airlines that allow passengers from risky countries, such as the USA, to arrive in Portugal, without a negative test of COVID-19. Fines can go up to 2,000 euros for carriers and 3,000 euros for ANA (Airports).
Today, the Minister of Economy, Pedro Siza Vieira, considered that the decision of the United Kingdom to leave Portugal off the list of safe destinations to travel has no scientific basis, even with the criterion that the country chose to follow.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
Germany registered three more deaths and 351 new cases of infection compared to the previous day.
In the USA, 850 deaths from COVID-19 and 63,262 new infections were registered in the last 24 hours, while Mexico had 836 deaths and 7,051 new cases, totalling 36,327 deaths and 311,486 infections since the beginning of the pandemic.
On the Asian continent, India recorded 28,498 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of infections to 936,181, which have already caused more than 24,000 deaths, was announced today.
China has recorded six new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, all coming from abroad, Chinese officials said today.
The capital city of Japan, Tokyo, with 14 million inhabitants, is on the highest alert level for the new coronavirus after an increase in confirmed cases, warned today its governor, Yuriko Koike.
At the moment, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) data, of the 163 candidates for vaccines against coronavirus that are currently under development in the world, 23 are in the clinical evaluation phase, with tests already carried out in restricted groups of volunteers, and two of them have already entered, or are entering, in the third and final phase of the process, clinical trials involving thousands of people. Others are expected to arrive there shortly.
At the same time, there is a test produced in South Korea, which costs 12 euros and detects COVID-19 in less than 10 minutes. The new diagnostic method was tested in Italy, on a thousand people, and detects only positives with a high viral load.
Four dogs from the Chilean police began to be trained to be “bio-detection” agents, thus being able to identify potential cases of infection by the new coronavirus through the odour of sweat.
Portuguese Finance Minister João Leão officially informed the Parliament of a 7% widening deficit this year, despite stressing that the billion euros of the potential loss of state revenue will be recovered the following year.
On the other hand, the simplified lay-off, one of the measures created by the Government to cope with COVID-19, has already “reached” 877 thousand people since its creation, the Minister of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security revealed yesterday. Ana Mendes Godinho also took the opportunity to announce a new measure that aims to support companies and the recovery of workers’ earnings.
Concerning the agricultural sector, the Minister of Agriculture says that “the possibility of reinforcing the three million euros from the management balances of the Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto, aimed at mitigating the pandemic crisis is not closed”.
Regarding the tourism sector, INE (Portuguese Statistics Board) again reflected the impact that COVID-19 is having in this sector, noting that tourism activity has “practically stopped” in May.
Banco de Portugal (Portuguese banking authority) announced that the pandemic continues to affect consumer credit in Portugal, with a reduction of 55.9% in May, compared to the same month last year.
Almost a quarter of Portuguese SMEs present on Facebook reduced the number of workers and only 39% of entrepreneurs are optimistic about the future. Such is the portrait outlined in the first report carried out by the social network on the impact of the pandemic on Portuguese SMEs using this digital platform.
The Bank of Japan predicts a 4.7% contraction of the Japanese economy in 2020, due to the crisis caused by the pandemic, the institution announced today. In the quarterly report on the country’s economic forecasts, the bank also estimates that Japan’s consumer price index will remain “negative”, due to the health crisis and falling oil prices.
The main Portuguese stock index was gaining 0.12%, to 4,455.33 points, at the beginning of the session, in line with the main European markets.
The American biotechnology company Moderna will enter the final phase of clinical trials of a vaccine against the new coronavirus on the 27th, the first to reach this stage, and this news is encouraging the markets.