Friday, August 28th | COVID-19 Daily Update
Over the last 24 hours, Portugal had six fatalities and 401 new people infected with COVID-19, according to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin.
These are the highest numbers in Portugal since last July 10th.
The data released today show that the number of deaths increased from 1,809 to 1,815, while confirmed cases increased from 56,673 to 57,074.
The number of people recovered also increased by 199 to 41,556.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The Government announced yesterday that Infarmed meetings to analyze the evolution of the pandemic will resume on September 7th, with part of the data release to be made in open transmission.
In Braga, the Secretary of State for Health assured that he believed in the capacity of Health Center Groups to organize among themselves and in coordination with hospital departments to maintain assistance to nursing homes within the scope of COVID-19.
Portugal’s removal from the UK’s “blacklist” had immediate effects on tourist reservations in the Algarve, but Faro airport, with hundreds of people concentrated in the area of arrival control, does not appear to be prepared.
Because of the pandemic, several sports were also affected, with over 400 thousand young federated athletes on stand-by, leaving clubs and federations at risk.
The political party CDS considers DGS guidelines for the practice of team sports to be non-acceptable and criticizes the decision to return to schools without gym classes, calling on the Government to urge DGS to review some of the guidelines.
The COVID-19 crisis office of the Portuguese Guild of Medical Doctors declared that the DGS should promote an “independent inspection” in mass events, such as the Festa do Avante (organized by the Portuguese Communist Party) and emphasized that “all opinions and all regulations must be public”.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
As the days go by, countries like France, Spain, and the UK are heading for what appears to be a second wave of the pandemic.
Europe has had, on average, more than 23,000 new cases per day, more than double that at the beginning of last month.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned yesterday that achieving natural group immunity against COVID-19 would be a very dangerous solution to contain the pandemic since it would result in the death of many people.
In the US, Donald Trump took advantage of the Republican convention to ensure that the country will have a vaccine for COVID-19 “safe and effective, already this year”.
Since yesterday, the US has registered 931 dead and 42,859 new infected, according to an independent report from Johns Hopkins University.
Today Africa counts 28,850 deaths due to COVID-19, registering more recovered patients (11,394) than new infections (8,499) in the last 24 hours, according to official data.
Spain will advance to the country’s first clinical trial of a vaccine for COVID-19 in the country, announced today the Spanish Minister of Health. The vaccine is being developed by Johnson & Johnson and the recruitment of 190 volunteers, aged between 18 and 55 and over 65, is carried out by the promoting company.
AstraZeneca, together with the University of Oxford, has a vaccine in the last phase of testing with optimistic prospects for success and has already signed agreements with seven jurisdictions to guarantee doses of the anti-coronavirus vaccine.
Joan Pons, the Spanish nurse who participated as a volunteer in these clinical trials, said the drug would be available on November 3rd.
The Government will extend support to self-employed workers who prove a continued drop in activity of more than 40%. Initially, with a maximum duration of six months, independent workers with “green receipts” in situations of social unprotection will be able to ask Social Security for access to the new support.
The Provisional Accounts of the State for the first semester show that, in the first quarter, the Tax Authority managed to collect more than 304 million euros in coercive charges, but in the following three months, with the arrival of the pandemic, it only managed to recover 122.3 million euros, the worst performance in a second-quarter at least since 2010.
Statistics Portugal (INE) announced that consumer confidence rose in August, “resuming the recovery profile started in May after the biggest reduction compared to the previous month recorded in April”. Retail sales also continued to recover in July, but are still below the COVID-19 pre-crisis levels.
In the US, the Federal Administration revised the GDP contraction estimate in the second quarter to an annualized quarterly change of -31.7%, instead of -32.9% as it had initially reported, the Commerce Department said yesterday.
The Portuguese stock exchange opened today’s session to trade at a slightly high, with the PSI-20 appreciating 0.10% to 4,375.85 points.
Of the 18 listed companies that make up the main national index, eight were going up, five down and five unchanged.
European and North American stock futures also continued to appreciate, with the global equity market moving towards the fifth consecutive week to accumulate gains. Stoxx50 futures were up 0.5% and S & P500 futures were up 0.4%.
Competition to obtain a vaccine that can defeat the new coronavirus has led much of the pharmaceutical sector to shoot at the stock exchanges.
The American company Moderna, whose experimental vaccine is in the last phase of testing, has appreciated close to 250% this year and leads the race.