Friday, September 25th | COVID-19 Daily Update
Five people died in the last 24 hours in Portugal as a result of the new coronavirus, with a further 899 cases of infection.
This is the fourth day with the highest number of infections in Portugal since the beginning of the pandemic.
According to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin, released today, there are now a total of 72,055 confirmed diagnoses in the country, with 1,936 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
It should also be noted that 327 people recovered from the disease, increasing the total number to 47,003.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The Secretary of State for Health warned that in the fall/winter period there will be two challenges: to create a circuit for patients that separates users with COVID from those who do not have and still resume the planned existential activity.
António Lacerda Sales also said that the Ministry of Health is “accelerating the process” of screening for different cancers, a situation that was harmed during the pandemic.
At the same time, he announced that areas dedicated to respiratory diseases will be created for users with SARS-CoV-2 or without the new coronavirus, having admitted that a system of traffic lights will be implemented to identify the areas at greatest risk for COVID-19 in Portugal.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
With 16,096 positive cases recorded in just 24 hours, France broke the record for people infected in just one day with the new coronavirus. In the last 24 hours, there have been 52 deaths, bringing the total number since the pandemic began to 31,511.
In Spain, there were 10,653 new cases, 40% of which in the Madrid region, bringing to 704,209 the total number of infected so far. The Regional Government of Madrid decided today to extend to eight more zones the measures that currently restrict the mobility of more than 850,000 inhabitants, to prevent the spread of the pandemic.
In Germany, there were 2,153 cases and 15 deaths, while the United Kingdom recorded 6,634 new infections – a new daily record in the country – and 40 deaths.
Meanwhile, Helsinki has announced a decrease in the number of countries whose inhabitants can enter Finland without restrictions, keeping Portugal on the list of unwanted travellers.
In Israel, there will be total confinement starting tomorrow, due to the large increase in cases.
The Brazilian Government announced yesterday the allocation of 390 million euros for the country to enter the international alliance for vaccines against COVID-19, the Covax Facility.
The American biotechnology company Novavax announced today that it has started, in the United Kingdom, the final phase of clinical trials of the experimental vaccine to combat the new coronavirus.
Private Portuguese lab group Unilabs will provide a diagnostic test that allows “to differentiate the new coronavirus from other types of seasonal respiratory infections”, helping clinicians to make more accurate diagnoses.
At the same time, Dr Thomas Hanscheid warned today that rapid tests can be 95% effective in screening for COVID-19, but they must be molecular and operated by specialized technicians.
SARS-CoV-2 may have mutated further and become even more contagious. Some researchers warn that the virus may even be adapting to overcome “barriers” like masks.
Two studies published in “Science” point to explanations for serious cases in young people. Some antibodies block the defence of the organism in 10% of patients and there are genetic changes in certain people, who are more vulnerable to the virus.
The Portuguese Government has announced the extension of credit moratoriums until September 2021 for companies and families. The measure was advanced yesterday at the end of the Ministers’ Council.
Between March and the end of August, EDP authorized the phased and interest-free payment of the electricity and gas bill to 78 thousand families, also allowing four thousand small businesses and 1,400 companies to benefit from the flexible payment of invoices.
The British government will pay 22% of the wages to workers affected by the pandemic to keep jobs, according to Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced yesterday as part of an “economic response” plan.
In the US, Democrats from the House of Representatives are preparing to suggest a new stimulus package to combat the new coronavirus, worth 1.8 billion euros.
The main European stock exchanges opened today mixed, with investors fearing that the increase in contagions by COVID-19 will cause more restrictive measures in countries like Germany, France, or the United Kingdom and that the economic recovery will lose momentum.
In Lisbon, the PSI-20 was down 0.18%, to 4,044.15 points, while the European EuroStoxx 600 was up 0.58%, to 356.43 points.
The London and Madrid stock exchanges advanced 0.29% and 0.30%, while those in Paris, Frankfurt, and Milan fell 0.30%, 0.09%, and 0.08%, respectively.