Friday, November 12th | COVID-19 Daily Update
Data revealed by the DGS indicate that, in the last 24 hours, 1,751 new cases of infection and three deaths associated with COVID-19 were registered in Portugal. According to today’s epidemiological bulletin, there are now 1,104,189 confirmed cases and 18,234 deaths since the pandemic’s start. Regarding recovered patients, a further 774 were counted, increasing the total number to 1,049,731.
THE PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
Vice Admiral Gouveia e Melo does not rule out the possibility of returning to the vaccination task force, but only if called upon. The former head of the task force has warned of the danger of politicizing the vaccination process and says that he sees it as a kind of “D. Sebastião” to show that nothing has been learned.
Portugal is already going through the fifth wave of the pandemic. According to the most recent figures, Madeira and the Algarve are reaching levels considered worrying. Experts warn that if we do not move quickly to the third dose of the vaccine, the NHS will again become overloaded.
However, this morning, the Deputy Secretary of State and Health, António Lacerda Sales, and the Director-General of Health, Graça Freitas, announced that the vaccination of health professionals would start the following Monday. The social sector and firefighters transporting patients will begin to be vaccinated on the 22nd. Graça Freitas also said that those who recovered from the disease would receive guidance in the coming days and guaranteed that they will be vaccinated in this “new stage”.
More than one million flu vaccines and around 450,000 booster doses against COVID-19 were administered in Portugal.
THE PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The director-general of the World Health Organization says that the COVID-19 pandemic “will end when the world decides it will end”, that “political will is lacking”, and that the priority is that countries with few vaccines receive them. Tedros Ghebreysus, who participated in a panel discussion at the Forum for Peace in Paris, stressed that “Africa, in particular, is the continent most affected by unequal distribution”, with only 5% of its population covered, contrasting with G20 rates member countries, which have already inoculated more than 80% of vaccines administered worldwide.
Yesterday, French President Emmanuel Macron and US Vice President Kamala Harris issued a joint appeal in defence of the power of multilateralism against the COVID-19 pandemic, aware that no country will be able to overcome the problem alone. The Paris Forum for Peace was the stage for this appeal, which made it clear that the health crisis has exacerbated existing inequalities and threatened advances made in terms of gender equality.
Meanwhile, the Netherlands Outbreak Management Commission has recommended the imposition of “limited confinement” for the next two weeks. Among other measures, it will have to cancel events and close cinemas and theatres. However, schools remain open. In Germany, the incidence increases rapidly, with a new maximum of 263.7 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants. German health authorities recorded 48,640 new infections in the last 24 hours and 191 deaths. Austria, on the other hand, is days away from placing millions of unvaccinated people in confinement. The decision comes when daily infections have reached new highs, and intensive care units are increasingly critical. About 65% of the population is fully vaccinated against the new coronavirus; however, it has the lowest vaccination rate among Western European countries.
Phase 3 clinical trials of the COVID-19 Covaxin (BBV152) vaccine, developed in India, showed an efficacy rate of 77.8% against symptomatic infection, according to research published in The Lancet.
The EMA announced the recommendation and authorization of two drugs for COVID-19, Ronapreve (casirivimab/imdevimab) and Regkirona (regdanvimab). The regulator says that these are the first monoclonal antibodies recommended for marketing authorization.
Meanwhile, researchers from the Polytechnic Institute of Porto decided to break the rule and produce a vaccine against edible COVID-19 in yoghurt and fruit juice. For the vaccine to easily reach the end-user, the researcher Rúben Fernandes pointed out the differences between the vaccines: the current ones stimulate the neutralization of the virus, and this one boosts immunity.
The pandemic represented an extraordinary expense in municipal budgets, with municipalities making 10,563 awards in response to the effects of COVID-19 between March 2020 and March 2021. The 308 municipal councils invested 125.4 million euros in so-called “Contracts COVID”, revealed today a report by the Court of Auditors.
However, companies will have more time to deliver the VAT declaration and proceed with the tax payment, according to the order signed yesterday by the Secretary of State for Fiscal Affairs, António Mendonça Mendes. The document also reveals that the delivery of VAT chargeable on declarations delivered in December 2021, under the monthly regime, can be carried out until the end of that month.
This morning, INE reported that the Adjusted Labor Cost Index for working days increased by 3.8% in the third quarter of 2021. Also, wage costs per hour worked increased by 3.4%, and other expenses increased by 5.3%.
At the same time, the Minister of State for the Economy and Digital Transition expects the 150 million euro line, announced in September, to reinforce “the existing offer” in the tourism sector to be available this month. Pedro Siza Vieira also spoke of the Resume program to help companies in “discussions they are having with their banks to ensure the adjustment of their credits on defaults to operational conditions that they may anticipate”.
The Portuguese stock exchange opened the session this morning in negative territory, with the PSI-20 devaluing 0.05%, to 5,704.60 points. In Europe, major European counterparts were negotiating on mixed terrain. The German DAX valued 0.06%, and the French CAC 40 gained 0.19%. In the opposite direction, the British FTSE 100 dropped 0.28%, the Spanish dropped 0.26%, and the Italian FTSEMIB lost 0.06%. The Euro Stoxx opened the session up 0.03%, to 4,359.25 points.