Friday, November 5th | COVID-19 Daily Update
The epidemiological bulletin of the DGS indicates that, in the last 24 hours, over 1,289 cases of infection and nine deaths associated with COVID-19 were registered in Portugal. According to the data released, there have been 1,095,337 confirmed cases and 18,193 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. On the other hand, 893 more people recovered from the disease, making the total number grow to 1,044,277.
THE PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The open house mode starts following Monday for people over 80 to be vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19. Soon, online scheduling for people over 70 will be available.
The growth of the pandemic in Europe is due to insufficient vaccination and the lifting of restrictions, indicates the Association of Doctors of Public Health, considering a new wave in Portugal with the beginning of 2020 to be “unlikely”.
Specialists remain attentive to the emergence of new variants of the new coronavirus, but the president of the Ricardo Jorge Health Institute devalues the rise in cases of COVID-19 in Portugal. For Fernando Almeida, we need to be alert but not worried.
However, in the Azores, six doctors at the Hospital do Divino Espírito Santo, in Ponta Delgada, from five different services, contracted the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the health unit indicated.
THE PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The WHO considers that the world is in a position to control the pandemic in 2022. “We can eliminate deaths, hospitalizations, but we have to make conscious collective and individual decisions for this”, said the technical leader of the response to COVID-19 at WHO.
In this sense, the body created by WHO and the World Bank to monitor preparedness for health crises advocates the creation of an international fund to finance the future response to pandemics such as COVID-19.
Germany recorded 37,120 new cases of coronavirus infection, the second consecutive daily record. The disease control centre warned that unvaccinated people now face a “very high” risk of infection.
Despite opposition, the French National Assembly approved the health surveillance law, which will allow the Government to maintain provisions aimed at controlling the pandemic. Thus, France can apply for a health pass until the end of July 2022. Also, the transitional state of emergency allows applying new restrictions if the numbers of the pandemic increase.
The US Administration today announced that private companies with more than 100 jobs must ensure that, as of January 4, employees are vaccinated against the new coronavirus. This is the most significant occupational health measure applied in the country since the beginning of the pandemic.
The European Medicines Agency has guaranteed that it will “try to speed up” the ongoing evaluation of molnupirvir. Until then, it is prepared to advise countries to move forward with emergency uses. The European Union is preparing a joint purchase of this first medication specific for COVID-19.
Pfizer announced that its antiviral pill, still in the trial phase, is 89% effective in preventing hospitalizations and deaths. The North American pharmaceutical joins Merck in the drug race against COVID-19 in the US, having already submitted the request to the drug authority in the country.
Regarding vaccines, Johnson & Johnson is the one that loses more effectiveness over time. The conclusion is in a study published in the journal “Science”, which also reports the loss of protection of the three main vaccines.
In addition, the latest study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are significantly less effective at protecting patients with weaker immune systems, calling for the need for immunocompromised adults to receive the third or even the fourth dose of the vaccine.
Regarding the damage caused by the disease, scientists identified a specific gene that doubles the risk of respiratory failure caused by COVID-19. According to research carried out by researchers at the University of Oxford, this may cause higher mortality in some ethnic groups. At the same time, new research suggests that the virus affects olfactory sensory neurons but does not infect them, raising expectations that the effects at the olfactory level will be less severe than previously thought.
The finance minister said that the political crisis provoked by the rejection of the State Budget for 2022 “does not originate in financial or budgetary issues”. For João Leão, the political crisis arrived when Portugal registered positive indicators in the labour market.
The governor of Banco de Portugal points out that it is necessary to guarantee that the economic recovery is not a “short-term recovery”. Mário Centeno highlighted the importance of European funds for the Portuguese economy.
Six of the biggest banks in Portugal earned more than one billion euros in the nine months of this year. Caixa Geral de Depósitos alone obtained almost half of the total profits of this group. The state bank will distribute an extraordinary dividend of 300 million euros to the State shareholder, justifying it with “the prospects of an impact of the pandemic situation on the smaller economy compared to the past”.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was the last speaker at the Web Summit and stressed that the event marks the beginning of “a post-pandemic cycle” in Portugal. “We have to fight for something vital to overcoming the pandemic”, said the President of the Republic.
On the international stage, the owner of airlines British Airways and Iberia admits that losses in 2021 could be three billion euros, but also indicates that reservations for North America are rising, thanks to the prospects of opening the borders in the US for European citizens vaccinated next Monday.
The Portuguese stock market was still in the middle of today’s session in negative territory, maintaining the opening trend and opposite to the European counterparts. The PSI-20 was falling 0.90% to 5,651.29 points. Among the main European markets, the German DAX advanced 0.16%, the French CAC 40 gained 0.69%, the Spanish IBEX 35 rose 0.89%, and the British FTSE 100 gained 0.60%.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the main stock indices once again set new historical highs in the US, except for the Dow Jones. Livening up yesterday’s session on Wall Street were big tech, chipmakers and energy companies. The Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 0.42%, to 4,680.06 points, and the technological Nasdaq Composite appreciated 0.81% to settle at 15,940.31 points.
In Asian markets, the Evergrande crisis is snowballing China’s real estate sector. Kaisa, a Shenzhen homebuilder, had its shares suspended on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after a company’s subsidiary failed to pay a coupon on a dollar bond.