Friday, February 5th | COVID-19 Daily Update
A total of 258 people died in the last 24 hours in Portugal, with 6,916 infected by the new coronavirus.
According to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin, released today, there are now a total of 755,774 accumulated cases in the country, with 13,740 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Another group of 11,342 people recovered from the disease, increasing the total number to 585,276.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The Minister of Health said this morning that the country has about 378,000 vaccine inoculations and there were already more than about 100,000 vaccinated NHS professionals, stressing that “there are 3.6 vaccinated people per 100 inhabitants”.
At CUF Tejo Hospital, António Costa and Marta Temido praised the cooperation with the private sector, with the Prime Minister announcing another 6,100 vaccine doses for professionals from the private sector, warning about the need for vaccines to be used properly.
António Costa added: “We will only return to normality in our lives when we are all vaccinated or, at least, 70% of the population, to reach group immunity.”
The head of the Government also announced the opening of 700 more beds for COVID and non-COVID patients in the private sector.
Meanwhile, Austria has announced that it will receive ten Portuguese patients, including five with serious infections and another five with other diseases or pending surgeries.
More than 200 doctors and Public Health interns signed a document in which they reinforce their “absolute commitment” to combating the pandemic, but they warn of the “critical needs” in this area that “was never truly the target of public investment”.
Right now, the regions of Algarve, Madeira, and Braga are the places in Portugal where hotel units are receiving infected patients after leaving the hospitals, but who are still testing positive.
In the meantime, the ban on circulation between the 278 counties of the Portuguese continental territory, between 20h00 today and 5h00 on Monday, comes into force again.
The Government also announced this morning that it will not give a free day on Carnival Tuesday because the country is in general confinement.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The World Health Organization (WHO) director for the European continent said today that Europe should speed up vaccination against COVID-19, admitting to being “concerned” about the impact of new variants of the virus on vaccine effectiveness.
Meanwhile, an acute inflammatory syndrome similar to Kawasaki’s disease is affecting the UK, with around 100 children hospitalized each week. Several cases were also detected in France. In Portugal, at least one case was diagnosed.
The pandemic has already claimed over 2,2 million deaths resulting from more than 104.3 million cases of infection worldwide.
In Europe, Germany recorded 855 deaths and 12,908 new cases of infection in the last 24 hours.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the USA recorded, for the first time, more than 5,000 deaths in a single day, in addition to 125,428 new cases.
In Mexico, 1,682 deaths and 13,575 infections were recorded in the last 24 hours.
Brazil had a balance of 1,232 deaths – the third consecutive day in which the country exceeds 1,000 deaths, and 56,873 new cases of infection.
In the African continent, there were 576 more deaths in the last 24 hours, adding to a total of 93,647 deaths, and 17,441 new cases of infection.
Throughout Asia, India has been slowing the progression of the pandemic in recent months, a trend that some virologists attribute to strengthening immunity in the country.
Mexican scientists are investigating a possible new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which, if confirmed, joins the strains that emerged in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa.
Meanwhile, two different studies, carried out in the USA, concluded that those who have already been infected, only need a single dose of the vaccine. Studies report that those who had already been infected had more antibodies, with just one dose of the vaccine than the general population that received both doses of immunization.
In Portugal, a team of researchers from Porto is developing a project to actively monitor the safety of the therapy used in the context of COVID-19 in hospitals in the district of Porto.
It was also reported that almost 10% of children who participated in a study on families in social isolation showed anxiety levels above what is considered functional, with parents or caregivers showing more signs of anxiety, stress, or depression, resulting in more anxious children.
The new containment implemented due to the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic is a “concern” that will present “risks” for Fitch’s analysis of economic growth and the national budgetary situation.
According to analysts, the peak of the public debt ratio in Portugal to GDP was in 2020, and the European Central Bank (ECB) monetary policy provides “relative comfort in the medium term”.
Meanwhile, the return to confinement, mandatory remote work, and, as of Monday, remote schooling with the physical closure of schools, is driving demand for computers to skyrocket.
Teachers’ unions report that teachers who do not have computers, for example, are being called upon to teach online classes in schools.
To compensate for extra expenses, the Portuguese Labor Code provides that companies have to assume the telephone and internet bills for employees who are in remote work. Water or energy costs are excluded unless there is a written stating otherwise.
According to DGS and the Ministry of Labor, companies cannot demand tests to anyone who returns to work after recovery. Recovered patients can return to work after ten days of isolation.
Eurostat reported that the gross minimum wage varied, in January, in the 21 EU Member States where it operates, between 332 euros in Bulgaria and 2,202 euros in Luxembourg, with Portugal in 10th place (776 euros).
In the US, the expectation for job creation data is high, after the biggest economy in the world lost jobs in December.
The PSI-20 started the session to appreciate 0.02%, following its European counterparts.
Most European stock exchanges have opened up to trading on the green.
In Germany, the DAX fell by 0.01%, in the United Kingdom, the FTSE 100 fell 0.02%, the French CAC 40 appreciated 0.38%, the Dutch AEX increased by 0.35%.
In Spain, the IBEX35 appreciated 0.08% and the Italian FTSE MIB grew 0.18%.
Yesterday, the Dow and the S&P 500 rose for the fourth consecutive day, with investors hoping for faster progress on the pandemic financial relief package, after Democrats in the Senate took the first step toward final approval of the 1,9 billion dollars plan sponsored by President Joe Biden.