Saturday, January 2nd | COVID-19 Daily Update
In 24 hours, Portugal had 73 fatalities and 3,241 more 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 7,045, while confirmed cases increased to 423,870.
It should also be noted that the number of people recovered also increased by 1,482 to 340,150.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
Completing the anti-COVID-19 vaccination plan and “reviving the economy” are two of the priorities outlined by António Costa in a New Year message in which he asks the Portuguese to pursue an “extraordinary mobilization”.
Portugal chose to vaccinate against COVID-19, in the first place, health professionals, law enforcement officers, residents of nursing homes or in long-term care, and seriously ill patients. The decision has not been peaceful and, yesterday, the Portuguese Guild of Medical Doctors stressed that it always defended two criteria: age and health condition.
However, according to Alexandre Lourenço, the increase in risk contacts during the Christmas period and New Year’s Eve will cause a further rise in cases of contagion and reverse the tendency to slow the pandemic situation. The president of the Portuguese Association of Hospitals Managers (APAH), it will lead to increasing pressure over hospitals.
In December, 120,167 new contagions were reported by SARS-Cov-2 in Portugal, which translates into a drop of 23% compared to the monthly record of more than 156,000 cases recorded in the previous month. However, in the last month of 2020, the number of fatalities caused by COVID-19 reached a new maximum of 2,395 deaths, 362 more, or 17.8%, than in November.
The number of deaths in Portugal last year was the highest since 100 years ago. Data from the eVM (real-time mortality surveillance system that analyzes death certificates), for January 1st, indicate that 123,667 people died in Portugal last year. COVID-19 explains only half of the excess deaths.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
Former Portuguese Prime Minister and ex-President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, is the president of the Global Alliance for Vaccines since yesterday, an institution that will seek to control the COVID-19 pandemic by the end of the year.
In the US, the vaccination plan is “terribly behind schedule”, criticized Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who calls for urgent action by the Government at a time when the country has exceeded 20 million cases of COVID-19, according to Johns University data Hopkins.
The number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths in Brazil has dropped to less than half in 24 hours, according to the latest data update, which reveals 24,605 new confirmed infections and 462 deaths.
Israel may become the first country to vaccinate the entire population against COVID-19, after almost 10% of the population has already received the first of two doses of the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech by the 12th day of the national vaccination program that started on December 20th.
Germany recorded 336 COVID-19-related deaths and 12,690 new cases of contagion in 24 hours, announced the Robert Koch Institute of Virology.
BioNTech, Pfizer’s partner in the development of the first vaccine against the new coronavirus, will increase production to cover the needs of EU countries, which are struggling to immunize the population.
2020 was a catastrophic year for economies worldwide, with several countries experiencing expected double-digit declines. Now, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) points to a recovery in virtually every nation in the year that is now starting. Portugal appears among the countries with the biggest recoveries.
Meanwhile, Ursula von der Leyen, said she was “looking forward” to working with the Prime Minister, António Costa, during the presidency of the Council of the EU, which Portugal assumed yesterday for the first half of 2021.
In Portugal, the number of workers targeted in collective redundancy processes will more than double in 2020, registering the biggest annual jump in the official series dating back to 2005. More than 7,000 workers were targeted.
Restaurants, on the other hand, are asking the government to “change its strategy” to end restrictions on opening hours, accounting for billing losses of more than 70% in the last quarter and asking for more support.
The pandemic has put a brake on the growth of the Portuguese residential market. In 2020, investment in housing is expected to total 22.5 billion euros, a 10% drop compared to 2019.
EDP Renováveis was the listed company that had the best performance on the PSI-20 in 2020. The company’s securities appreciated 117%, has reached historic highs and reaching a market value of 19.89 billion euros.
The prices of “black gold” ended in 2020 to mark the biggest annual fall since 2015, with losses above 20%. It was the year of oil in negative territory, with a strong hand in OPEC + and a pandemic that strongly affected the demand for fuel.
With hopes of economic recovery in 2021, investors may be more open to taking risks. But caution must be maintained, analysts warn.