Friday, October 30th | COVID-19 Daily Update
It’s official. Today was the worst day in Portugal since the beginning of the pandemic, in the number of cases, of deaths and hospitalized patients in intensive care units (ICU).
Over the last 24 hours, an additional 4,656 new infections of COVID-19 infection were reported in Portugal, according to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin. The confirmed cases increased to 137,272.
The data also reveals the occurrence of 40 deaths since yesterday, bringing the total to 2,468 fatalities in the country.
Portugal has now the highest number of patients in ICU ever: 275, putting increased pressure over the NHS capacity.
In the same period, 1,747 people recovered from the disease, increasing the total number to 77,449.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The Government will today listen to the social partners on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, within the framework of a meeting of the Permanent Commission for Social Coordination.
Among the proposed measures will be a mandatory curfew, specific restrictions for each county, depending on the risk degree, and mandatory remote work, as ways to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Yesterday, Prime-Minister António Costa said that the European Union will distribute equitably and according to the population of each Member State the future vaccine against COVID-19 and Portugal should have concluded the national vaccination strategy in November.
The head of the Government also stated that he does not exclude any measures against COVID-19, but stressed that the fight against the pandemic is an endurance race and that the measures must be modelled according to the needs.
Since midnight today and until 6:00 am on Tuesday, the movement of people outside the municipality of residence is limited in Portugal, within the scope of measures to contain the pandemic.
The Portuguese Guild of Medical Doctors Crisis Office for COVID-19 sustained today, in a statement, the bet on a “clear, concise and effective communication, also carried out by those closest to different social sectors and from different generations, to motivate citizens to comply with the norms defined by the DGS “, as well as the creation of” a plan to refute the false information usually associated with some inorganic movements “.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The president of the European Council assured, at the end of a video conference between EU leaders, that the 27 member states are “united” to face the “difficult fight” against the second wave of COVID-19, which he classified as “brutal”.
Still in Europe, France today brings back the national confinement to try to stop the new coronavirus, a drastic decision that the Government had to take due to the failure of all other measures, such as the regional curfew. The country has already exceeded the 36 thousand deaths associated with COVID-19.
Regarding the numbers of the virus in the world, Brazil had 513 deaths and 26,106 new cases in the last 24 hours, totalling 158,969 deaths and approaching 5.5 million infections.
The United States, on the other hand, had a new daily record of contagions since the beginning of the pandemic crisis, accounting for 91,295 new cases in just 24 hours.
Worldwide, the new coronavirus has already exceeded 45 million infections, according to Johns Hopkins University, which has been monitoring the global epidemiological situation since the beginning of the pandemic.
Moderna Inc. will reveal data from the third and final phase of the vaccine clinical trial that it has been developing to fight COVID-19 as early as November.
SARS-CoV-2 has hundreds of mutations, but one of the most prevalent in the current second wave will have appeared first in Spain, Spanish and Swiss scientists conclude in a study released yesterday.
A recent study indicates that several patients may experience symptoms and sequelae of the disease for several months, even after testing negative. Cases of “persistent COVID”, as researchers call them, mostly affect women and the elderly.
Another study, published in the journal “Trends in Neurosciences”, found that the new coronavirus may play a role in triggering Parkinson’s disease, even in people without a family history of degenerative disease.
The Portuguese Statistics Bureau (INE) announced today that the Portuguese economy contracted 5.8% year on year in the third quarter, but that in comparison with the previous quarter, when it had fallen 13.9%, GDP recovered 13.2%.
Also according to data from INE, the annual rate of change of the Consumer Price Index was -0.1% in October, the same amount as in September.
At the same time, the amount of loans subject to default in Portugal already amounts to 44 billion euros and the Government wants to avoid “at all costs” an economic precipice with the withdrawal of support in a “sudden and dramatic” way.
Today, independent workers receive support for the reduction of activity caused by the pandemic with a retroactive effect to March or May.
On the other hand, the unemployment rate stood at 8.5% in the Eurozone in September and 7.5% in the EU, stable if compared to August, but above the value recorded in the same month of 2019 for both, according to Eurostat.
Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases in Europe, European leaders agreed yesterday to keep the borders open. According to António Costa, who spoke at the end of the videoconference, the reintroduction of controls not only “seriously damaged the internal market and the circulation of goods” but “did not prevent the virus from spreading”.
In France, the economy grew 18.2% in the third quarter, after the collapse in the spring, related to the first confinement to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy remains, however, at a much lower level than before the crisis.
The Portuguese stock exchange opened this morning at a slight high with the PSI-20 appreciating 0.16% to 3,869.31 points, after four consecutive sessions of losses.
Lisbon continued to counteract the trend of the main European stock exchanges, which opened lower today, pending the publication of relevant macroeconomic indicators from Europe and more business results.
Brent’s price fell sharply again yesterday, for the second consecutive day, accumulating a devaluation of 11% in a week.