Friday, January 15th | COVID-19 Daily Update
Today, 10,663 new cases of infection with the new coronavirus were reported and 159 deaths in Portugal in the last 24 hours, which is the highest number of fatalities in a single day in Portugal to date.
According to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin, there are now a total of 528,469 confirmed cases in the country, with 8,543 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
A further 6,458 people were also discharged from hospitals, 394,065 of whom are now free of COVID-19.
There are 192 more people hospitalized than yesterday (there are now 4560) and 11 more in intensive care units (a total of 622). This indicator has increased in the last few days and there have never been so many people with covid-19 hospitalized as now.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
A month of general confinement will not be enough to revert the current numbers of new infections and the Government is already prepared to extend the restrictions now imposed on the Portuguese for a longer period.
According to the decree-law for the state of emergency that began today, fines for non-compliance with Government measures double the amount.
The third wave of the pandemic continues to worsen in the country and yesterday new highs were reached in several relevant indicators. In a list of 30 countries, Portugal appears in 5th place in terms of the number of infections per 100,000 inhabitants: there are 901.34, reveals the European centre for Disease Control (ECDC).
In an interview, the prime minister assured that the Government made every possible effort to control the pandemic, arguing that there is “no collective judgment to be made” because the number of daily cases has increased again.
The Ministry of Health announced that health professionals from the priority services of hospitals in the private and social sector began today to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Portugal extended until the end of January the restrictive measures related to air traffic outside the EU and the Schengen Area. For their part, the United Kingdom and Angola decided to suspend flights with several countries, including Portugal.
Numbers indicate that people are losing confidence in StayAway Covid mobile app. Five months after it was launched, only 39% of the nearly three million people who installed the application continue to use it.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
In times of pandemic, and when you want to start recovering with the help of vaccines, the European Commission president considers it to be essential that there is a vaccination certificate. The proposal was presented by Greece and Ursula Von der Leyen agrees but says that it is necessary to define under what circumstances it will be required.
Today, Pfizer has warned of a “starting next week” drop in deliveries of anti-COVID vaccines in Europe, to improve its production capacity.
The pandemic has already caused at least 1,994,833 deaths resulting from more than 93 million cases of infection, according to the AFP news agency.
Around the world, countries are tightening restrictions to combat COVID-19, either because the numbers of contagion are increasing or because there is a fear that they will increase.
For example, in France, the Prime Minister announced yesterday that the national curfew will take effect between 6 pm and 6 am and revealed new measures for travellers arriving from countries outside the EU.
In Germany, which today exceeded the threshold of two million infected with the new coronavirus, Chancellor Angela Merkel advocates much stricter restrictions in the face of the pandemic.
Outside Europe, Mexico accounted for 16,468 cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, the highest figure since the pandemic began.
The USA is still the country with the highest number of deaths from the new SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus and also with more cases of infection. President-elect Joe Biden’s administration has not yet taken office and is already facing serious operational challenges to put vaccines in the arms of Americans.
Between 95 to 97% of health professionals vaccinated against COVID-19 at Hospital de São João, in Porto, presented, 15 days after the first dose, antibodies that lead to confirmed immunity.
In São Paulo, Brazil, 21% of those infected with the coronavirus did not develop antibodies against the disease, pointed out a serological study released yesterday. However, a Brazilian researcher considered that a mutation of the new coronavirus recently detected in Japan and originating in the Brazilian Amazon may be as contagious as those in the United Kingdom or South Africa.
The Economy Minister announced yesterday the measures to support companies, in the scope of the confinement that came into force today. In the meantime, the extension to the end of June of support for the progressive recovery has already been announced.
The Government also approved an extraordinary support regime for electricity prices during the confinement period.
The prime minister estimates that GDP will have fallen by 15 billion euros in 2020 and adds that the goal now is to get the “European bazooka to shoot” the money by June. In turn, in an interview with Antena 1, the President of the Republic considers it inevitable that the country’s indebtedness will worsen.
INE (PT official statistics bureau) data on tourism indicate that, in November, the number of guests who passed through tourist accommodation units decreased by 77% compared to the same period last year. The institution also reveals that the pandemic led to a 14.8% drop in regional economic activity between March and November 2020.
The BdP (PT banking authority) reports that new credit applications rose 3.5% in November.
The Eurozone recorded a surplus of 25.8 billion euros in November 2020 in the trade of goods with the rest of the world. Goods exports are already beginning to show signs of “a return to pre-COVID levels”, reveals Eurostat.
Joe Biden, whose inauguration is scheduled for Wednesday, will present the “American Rescue Plan” the following day, which will later be subject to congressional approval.
The Portuguese stock exchange started the last session of the week to trade on the negative ground.
In the morning, the PSI-20 lost 0.43%, pressured by Galp, following the main European counterparts.
Among the main European indexes, the German DAX lost 0.34%, the British FTSE retreated 0.50%, the French CAC fell 0.65% and the Spanish IBEX devalued 0.42%.
In the oil market, Brent’s barrel fell 1.28% and WTI 0.93%.
In the foreign exchange market, the euro depreciated 0.29% against the dollar and the pound slid 0.30% in comparison to the US currency.
In the US, Wall Street indexes closed the last session down after new unemployment figures were released.
CaixaBI analysts updated their valuations for the Portuguese stock exchange in 2021. The estimates attribute an upward potential to the PSI-20 that fluctuates between 20% and 30% in the next 12 months, with REN, Semapa, and Sonae being the companies to invest in.