Friday, January 22nd | COVID-19 Daily Update
In 24 hours, Portugal had 234 fatalities (a new maximum in the number of deaths) and 13,987 new people infected with the new coronavirus, according to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin.
The data released today show that the number of deaths rose to 9,920, while confirmed cases increased to 609,136. It should also be noted that the number of people recovered also increased by 7,319 to 441,556.
At INL, in total, until now we had 13 cases of COVID-19 and 85 people had to undergo a quarantine period.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The Government yesterday decided to close all schools, from daycare centres to universities, due to the progression of the so-called English strain of Sars-Cov-2.
Additionally, from 8 pm today until 5 am on Monday, it is forbidden to circulate between municipalities. Among other measures, it was also announced the increase of fines for offenders who repeatedly violate the rules defined during the state of exception: anyone caught without a face mask twice may have to pay up to 1,333 euros.
On the other hand, the minister of Health told that the national vaccination plan is in line with the objectives of the European Commission and that, without incidents or unforeseen events, by the end of the summer, Portugal will have 70% of the adult population vaccinated.
Since October 30th, the number of daily deaths from all causes in Portugal has been higher than expected, taking into account the average of the previous five years.
There are 83 consecutive days with excess mortality, according to data from the DGS Mortality Surveillance platform.
Yesterday, in an interview with TVI, the Assistant Secretary of State and Health spoke about the “worrying” situation that Portugal is experiencing – and guaranteed that the country has “difficult weeks ahead”. And “they will surely be more than two”, he stressed, adding that the situation in hospitals is worrying.
Private health groups continue to receive COVID-19 patients from the NHS, especially in Lisbon and Porto, in connection with the Regional Health Authority and are already close to the limit.
At the Algarve Hospital, there is news of 30 damaged ventilators, a set of devices purchased by the Algarve Biomedical Center that cost more than one million euros, now out of operation.
The working group for the vaccination plan against COVID-19 is preparing a proposal to include senior decision-makers and firefighters among the priorities to be vaccinated. Francisco Ramos, the task force coordinator, explains that DGS has already made the first proposal and “is working on reaching a final definition”.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The European Commission (EC) informed yesterday that Pfizer laboratory will resume delivery of its vaccines next week after announcing a delay.
Stefan de Keersmaecker also stressed that the EC continues to “monitor the situation with the company”, stressing, however, that “deliveries are an issue between the company and the Member States”.
Worldwide, the pandemic has already claimed at least 2,075,698 deaths and more than 96.8 million cases of infection.
The United States remains the most affected country, with 4,045 dead and 192,079 infected in the past 24 hours, at a time when the country has postponed the vaccination campaign due to a lack of immunizers.
Yesterday Brazil passed the barrier of 214,000 deaths by COVID-19 and is approaching the 8.7 million cases of the infection since the beginning of the pandemic.
The total number of deaths caused by the new coronavirus in Germany today exceeded 50 thousand.
Hungary signed an agreement to buy large quantities of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19. This is the first EU country to approve the emergency use and purchase of this Russian vaccine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, warned yesterday of the risk of Africa falling behind in access to vaccines, criticizing the accumulation of doses in rich countries.
So far, the vaccines against COVID-19 that are circulating in several countries require two injections administered a few weeks apart. But according to the New York Post, in the rare case that the same type is not available or if it is not known which one was administered in the first injection, the British authorities say that any vaccine that is available for the second injection can be given.
The Eurozone is about to fall into a new technical recession, that is, two consecutive quarters of economic downturn, the European Central Bank (ECB) president warned yesterday at the press conference that followed the meeting on monetary policy and interest rates.
Lagarde also warned that “we cannot rule out new adverse developments” due to the pandemic.
Self-employed workers forced to stay home with their children because of the closure of schools will receive support calculated based on the declaration for the last quarter of last year, corresponding to one-third of the amount. Those who work for others will receive 66% of the base salary of December of last year. The information was published today in “Diário da República” (PT Official Journal).
On the other hand, the return of exceptional support to the family due to the suspension of classes, starting today, will maintain the conditions of access in force last spring, being forbidden to parents when one of them is in a regime of remote work.
The Prime Minister announced yesterday that, starting tomorrow, there will be a total interruption of flights between Portugal and the United Kingdom, except for those that are considered humanitarian to repatriate Portuguese and British citizens.
In the United States, the pandemic continues to severely condition the provision of the economy, which keeps weekly unemployment benefit claims close to one million, well above what was recorded before the disease hit the country.
The Portuguese stock exchange continued to trade today for the third consecutive session, with the Portuguese Stock Index PSI-20 losing 0.70%.
A total of 12 shares were falling, one up and five unchanged.
In Europe, the trend was also negative.
Yesterday, Wall Street renewed records on the three main indexes and new closing highs for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.