COVID-19 | Weekly Update

September 17, 2021

Friday, September 17th | COVID-19 Daily Update

According to the epidemiological bulletin of the DGS, in the last 24 hours, over 1,023 cases of infection and seven deaths associated with COVID-19 were registered in Portugal. The figures released indicate that there have been 1,060,432 confirmed cases and 17,895 fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic. On the other hand, 1,555 more people have recovered from the disease, bringing the total number to 1,007,911.


After successive states of emergency and restrictive measures, this is the month of widespread relief. Yesterday, at the Infarmed meeting, the experts expressed confidence in the control of the pandemic and, therefore, proposed the removal of masks, spaces with limited capacity or mandatory certificates. Pedro Pinto Leite, from DGS, traced the situation of the pandemic in Portugal and acknowledged that there had been “four big waves” over the last year and a half, the main one being in January 2021, but said that the country is now at the end of a pandemic phase.

At the same time, microbiologist João Paulo Gomes, who works at the National Institute of Health Doctor Ricardo Jorge, says that new variants are expected to appear in Portugal, given the imbalance in vaccination against COVID-19 in the world. The researcher Raquel Duarte, who leads the team of experts that advises the Government on the decontamination process, also defended the need to prepare a plan to safeguard the possible reinforcement of vaccination.

According to the task force for vaccination, about 400 thousand people are to be vaccinated. Of these, 150 thousand people are recovered who are not yet eligible for the process.

This morning, the Government published an order allowing the entry into Portugal of citizens holding vaccination or recovery certificates from third countries under common conditions.

Finally, Portugal is at moderate risk concerning travel decisions in the European Union.


WHO says the African continent needs nearly 470 million more vaccines to fight the pandemic in the face of a cut of 150 million doses by the COVAX initiative. According to WHO Africa, 470 million doses are now expected to be delivered to the African continent this year, which “will be enough to vaccinate only 17% of the population, far below the 40% target”.

In Europe, the Italian Government approved a decree demanding a “health passport” from all workers. This measure will come into force on October 15 and make Italy the first European country to apply for this certificate in employment. In turn, the daily average of infections in Poland increased by 41% compared to last week. Warning of an imminent “fourth wave” of infections, the Polish Government urged the population to be vaccinated while ensuring that hospitals and health personnel “are prepared” for increased cases.

However, the first civil case for an outbreak of COVID-19 in the ski resort in the village of Ischgl in March 2020 began today in Austria, where thousands of people from 45 countries claim to have been infected.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the Ministry of Health of Brazil recommended the suspension of the vaccination of adolescents, due to the “disorder” that exists in some states of the country, which anticipated the immunization of young people. The country’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, will attend the UN General Assembly next week in New York and refuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19.


The four vaccines currently being administered in the European Union must have, by the end of the year, safety authorization for administration to people over five years of age. In this context, the vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Janssen still have trials in children scheduled. Still, it is anticipated that “an extension” of the safety authorizations for people over five years old will be submitted by the end of the year.


The Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security reports that the subsidy for assistance to children or grandchildren for prophylactic isolation is “in effect”. Parents receive 100% support from the net reference pay. If a grandparent stays with the grandchild, the allowance paid corresponds to 65% of the reference salary.

At the same time, Moody’s is expected to comment on Portugal’s rating after DBRS and Standard and Poor’s have already done so. In the last assessment, the agency maintained the national debt at “Baa3”, the first level above “junk”, as well as the “positive” perspective.

Portugal has the third-lowest inflation rate in Europe. According to Eurostat, the lowest annual inflation rates were registered in Malta (0.4%), Greece (1.2%) and Portugal (1.3%) and the highest in Estonia, Lithuania and Poland (5% each). In the Eurozone, 3% annual inflation in August compares with 2.2% in July and -0.2% in the same month.


After three days closing in the red, the PSI-20 started the week’s last session on a high, rising 0.54% to 5,365.91 points. The remaining European stocks also continued to appreciate investors after publishing retail sales and US jobless claims.