Friday, October 15th | COVID-19 Daily Update
Data put forward by the DGS indicate that, in 24 hours, 766 new cases of infection and seven deaths associated with COVID-19 were registered in Portugal. According to today’s epidemiological bulletin, there are now 1,078,729 confirmed cases and 18,078 deaths since the pandemic’s start. As for recovered patients, 624 more were counted, bringing the total number to 1,030,439.
THE PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
According to data on vital statistics released this morning by INE, Portugal registered 8,541 deaths in September, a figure below the previous month (655), with a 5% drop, equivalent to 453 fewer deaths, compared to September 2020. Although the number of deaths by COVID-19 decreased to 222, 166 less than August, there was an increase of 69 deaths compared to September 2020.
Yesterday, at an event held in Porto, the Minister of Health stated that the State Budget for 2022 will allow “to promote the recovery” of the country, having argued that behind every euro invested in the NHS, there are more “care” and “quality of life”. Marta Temido stressed that health was one of the key areas in the fight against the pandemic, being “a priority area for public investment”.
THE PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
Today, Italy will demand a health passport from all workers in the public and private sectors, following the decision decreed last Tuesday by Prime Minister Mario Draghi.
In Ireland, the prime minister acknowledged yesterday that the lifting of restrictions still in force in the country in the context of the pandemic, scheduled for next week, could be compromised given the increase in the number of cases in recent days. Micheál Martin urged citizens to “return to basic preventive measures”, reinforcing “social distance” and “the use of masks”. In Germany, concerns go to the incidence levels among children and adolescents, which are 500 in the age group from ten to 19 years old in eight districts. Despite this situation, the country has registered declines in the leading indicators of the pandemic.
As for the United Kingdom, the Government said yesterday that international travellers with a complete vaccination schedule who travel to the territory from countries whose entry is authorized would be able, from the 24th, to opt for a quick test instead of the PCR test. It is now known that 43,000 people may have been wrongly informed that they were not suffering from COVID-19 due to problems in a private laboratory. According to British health authorities, the false results were in tests analyzed from September until the beginning of this week.
A study carried out by the National Institutes of Health in the USA defends a combined dose of vaccines to fight COVID-19. The institution’s experts believe that inoculating a dose of Johnson & Johnson and a booster dose of Pfizer or Moderna prepares better the immune system. The results will now be evaluated by a panel of experts from the Food and Drug Administration.
However, researcher Jaqueline Miller, who yesterday presented the data from Moderna to the US regulator, indicated that half of a dose of the vaccine against COVID-19 is effective as a booster dose.
The government’s new program to support the recovery of business activity in the tourism sector will start with a budget allocation of five million euros. This instrument will be financed by Turismo de Portugal, with the objective of “supporting tourism companies in the effort to adapt and invest in their establishments, allowing for the adjustment of methods of work organization and relationship with customers and suppliers to the post-COVID context. -19”. The rules were published today in “Diário da República”.
According to data disclosed by INE, tourist activity has been recovering since the second quarter of the year, with the number of guests, overnight stays and total income rising. In August, the Portuguese chose to tour here, and at least since 2013, residents were not responsible for so many overnight stays in the Algarve and the North.
For its part, Banco de Portugal announced the evolution of new consumer credit for August. According to the institution, the total granted in the month under analysis amounted to 567.23 million euros, representing a decrease of 1.4% compared to July and an increase of 11.8% compared to August 2020.
Eurostat also released figures. According to the European statistical office, the Euro Zone registered a surplus in the external trade of goods of 4.8 billion euros (ME) in August, against 14 thousand ME registered in the same month of 2020. goods from the Eurozone to the rest of the world were 184,300 ME, a year-on-year increase of 18.2%.
The main European stock markets opened today’s session higher. Lisbon was trading in positive territory, with the PSI-20 advancing 0.43% to 5,644.86 points, while the Euro Stoxx rose 0.23% to 466.98 points. These gains followed Wall Street’s advances recorded yesterday after better-than-expected unemployment and business results were released. This is despite fears of more moderate economic growth and a persistent rise in inflation caused by higher energy prices. Brent continued to appreciate 1% in the oil market, to 84.90 dollars per barrel – the highest value since March 2018 -while WTI grew 0.93%, to 82 dollars per barrel.
Bitcoin was already at six-month highs, shooting 4% to $59,664, with the prospect of approval of the first exchange-traded fund of this cryptocurrency in the US.