COVID-19 | Weekly Update

February 12, 2021

Friday, February 12th | COVID-19 Daily Update



A total of 149 people died over the last 24 hours in Portugal, with 2,854 newly infected by the new coronavirus. 

According to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin, released today, there are now a total of 781,223 confirmed cases in the country, with 15,034 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. 

A new group of 7,617 people recovered from the disease, increasing the total number to 652,739.



The failure to deliver vaccines against COVID-19 will delay the vaccination of another million Portuguese, whose inoculation was initially expected until the end of March.  

Mass vaccination is expected to focus on the three summer months, during which eight million doses of the vaccine could be administered. The information was given by António Costa, after the approval of the new State of Emergency, arguing that this is not the time to start discussing the deconfinement measures alleviation, calling on no one to take “good results” as a sign to lighten the measures adopted.

The directors of infectious disease services at the country’s largest hospitals also suggest that the government must prepare a plan and adopt robust measures.

The director of intensive care service at Hospital de São João, Porto, has already sustained the maintenance of the confinement until March 21st, a measure that must be accompanied by “robust” testing, suggesting 50 times more tests than the diagnosed cases.

DGS has published the new National Testing Strategy which indicates that there will be regular laboratory screenings, with rapid tests, for example, in schools with secondary school students and also in nursing homes. 

The Minister of Health said yesterday in the National Parliament that the Government “always used proportional measures” to combat the pandemic and guaranteed that data were never manipulated, having been “totally serious about the difficulties and uncertainties”. 

Besides, Marta Temido announced that Portugal will receive two medical teams from France and Luxembourg next week.

Education Minister Tiago Brandão Rodrigues announced this morning the cancellation of two assessment tests and added that there is still no forecast for the return to in-person classes, but guaranteed that “schools should be the first infrastructures” to reopen.

Today, from 20h00, circulation between municipalities in mainland Portugal is again banned until 5h00 on Monday.



European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen acknowledged that the “lack of mass production capacity” of the COVID-19 vaccine was underestimated, noting that the introduction of new vaccines on the market could be accelerated.  

For now, the EU will close a deal to supply Novavax vaccine during this week or the next one.

Across the Atlantic, the Joe Biden Administration has awarded several contracts for the purchase of 200 million additional doses of vaccines.

The numbers of new cases and daily deaths are dropping in Europe, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has already warned against “hasty decisions” about lifting confinements, noting the still low numbers of vaccination. 

In Europe, German health authorities reported 10,237 new infections in the last 24 hours and 666 deaths. 

The WHO also warned of the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in Africa that “increased by 40%” in one month, with the United Nations agency concerned about the new and more contagious variants of the new coronavirus. 

The African continent recorded, in the last 24 hours, another 567 deaths for a total of 97,299 deaths and 12,010 new cases.



American researchers concluded that the ideal temperature for the virus to infect more people is 4.4 degrees Celsius. These results show that cold may be more important in transmission than previously thought.

According to a study in the United Kingdom, Tocilizumab, used for rheumatoid arthritis, and corticosteroids, such as dexamethasone, can halve deaths in the most severe cases.



António Costa announced aid for the economic recovery of the 27 member states of the European Union. The Portuguese Prime Minister was speaking this morning after the signing of the European Recovery Fund. 

With the approval of the so-called European “bazooka”, it will now be possible to start the economic recovery of the affected countries in the EU. 

Portugal should, however, present its definitive program, to have access to financing of around 24 billion euros, on March 1st.

The Portuguese Ministry of Finance reveals that the simplified lay-off and the loss of VAT revenue during confinement can cost the state vaults close to 600 million euros per month.  

The UK recorded a 9.9% contraction in 2020, a year when the British economy was ruined by the freezing winter in Europe and destroyed virtually all of the country’s crops.



The Portuguese stock exchange started trading on the negative ground, with the PSI-20 losing 0.33%, in line with the main European markets. The national index thus prolongs the losses recorded yesterday. 

Among the main European counterparts, the German DAX fell 0.54%, the British FTSE fell 0.18%, the French CAC 40 fell 0.20% and the Spanish IBEX 35 lost 0.37%. Investors are more conservative after Wall Street closed higher yesterday. 

With the pandemic and the increased demand for digital solutions, many technological and e-commerce companies entered the European stock market in 2021. It was the best start of the year for IPOs on the stock exchanges since 2015.