Friday, August 13th | COVID-19 Daily Update
Over the last 24 hours, 12 people have died in Portugal and there are 2,598 new cases of infection by COVID-19.
According to data released today in the epidemiological bulletin of the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS), there are now a total of 998,547 confirmed cases in the country, with 17,537 deaths still to be regretted since the beginning of the pandemic.
As for the number of people who recovered from the disease, 2,538 cases were counted, increasing the total to 936,555. The R(t) rose from 0.94 to 0.95 nationally and in mainland Portugal.
THE PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The vaccination centres will fill up on the weekend, in an operation to vaccinate young people aged 16 and 17 in two days, with more than 100,000 appointments made and the possibility of resorting to the “open house” strategy.
According to the task force responsible for the process, all vaccination centres will be at their maximum installed capacity, but the goal is to vaccinate even more people. It is also this weekend that two of the centres in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area decided to be open until 1:00 am to call the younger population for vaccination.
In an interview, Henrique Gouveia e Melo clarified that it will not be possible to vaccinate children from 12 to 15 years old outside their area of residence. The “vaccination process cannot go after the Portuguese holidays”, he pointed out. The vice-admiral admits that there may be an “unfounded climate” of fear about vaccination, but argues that the vaccination process is behind the “immense mortality reduction”.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister assured that the decision of the DGS on the universal vaccination of young people from 12 years old was “purely technical”. António Costa also said that the decision on the third dose of the vaccine will be taken by the DGS, stressing that no action has been taken nor is there any vaccination schedule.
At the same time, according to Eurostat, mortality due to COVID-19 in Portugal has been declining, compared to the excess mortality observed in 2020, while in the European Union there has been a slowdown. Portugal is, together with Sweden, one of the countries without excess mortality in June.
DGS, on the other hand, admitted the difficulty in issuing the digital certificate, which occurred in several situations, and guarantees that the services are solving the problem.
THE PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The cumulative incidence of COVD-19 infections in Spain dropped 20.3 points in the last 24 hours and fell below 500 cases in 14 days for the first time in a month. Spain is a leader in vaccination, due to citizens’ trust in the Spanish national health system, with more than 61% of the country’s population already fully vaccinated.
Angola will be one of the 11 countries that will receive part of the 80 million vaccines that the United Kingdom is making available to African countries through the COVAX mechanism, the British authorities announced this Friday.
At this moment, Cuba is the country with the most worrying numbers on the American continent and one of the five worst in the world. The current wave of coronavirus is “demanding the utmost from all health professionals in all organizations facing the pandemic”, said the Cuban President.
The French overseas territories continue to be heavily affected by the disease, with Martinique and Guadeloupe experiencing “catastrophic” situations and some French Polynesian islands will also be confined again from Sunday.
At the same time, Australia decided to extend Melbourne’s confinement for another week, due to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases linked to the Delta variant.
In Russia, a new maximum of daily deaths due to the coronavirus was registered. Despite that, today, the Russian capital has begun to lift some of the restrictions imposed.
China insists that the investigation into the origin of COVID-19 should be extended to other countries, reiterating that the theory that the virus leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan is “extremely improbable”.
Meanwhile, the head of the first World Health Organization (WHO) mission in Wuhan, the Dane Peter Embarek, declared in a documentary on public television in his country that it is “probable” that the hypothesis that the virus was born in a laboratory.
In the US, the Food and Drug Administration authorized the administration of a third dose to immunocompromised patients. The regulator has thus changed the emergency approvals for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are not yet formally approved, although they have been in use since December 2020.
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, yesterday promulgated the Government diploma that extends the measures to support the progressive recovery of companies in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the pandemic, the Portuguese average salary reached June this year with a gain of 6.9% compared to the beginning of the last summer free from the crisis brought about by the new coronavirus. The average gross salary reached 1,395 euros in June, 90 euros more than in the same month of 2019.
According to INE (PT official statistics bureau), tourist accommodation registered a drop of 50.1% in June compared to the pre-pandemic period. The sector registered 1.4 million guests and 3.4 million overnight stays in that month, but compared to 2019, total income decreased by 54.4% and that relating to accommodation decreased by 55.4%.
At the European level, the external trade surplus in Eurozone goods declined to 18 billion in June. Exports to the rest of the world reached 209.9 billion euros, an increase of 23.8% compared to June 2020, in a month that included “measures introduced by the Member States to fight COVID-19”, indicates Eurostat.
Finally, at the level of raw materials, OPEC believes that the expected oil demand for 2021 and 2022 will continue, although the impact on the global economy of the Delta variant of the new coronavirus is still a big uncertainty.
The Lisbon Stock Exchange continued, in the middle of today’s session, in negative territory, maintaining the trend of opening and in the opposite direction of the European counterparts.
The PSI-20 dropped 0.19%, to 5,203.20 points, while in the European counterparts, the German DAX gained 0.40%, the French CAC 40 rose 0.33%, the Spanish IBEX 35 gained 0.22% and the British FTSE 100 increased by 0.37%.
In turn, the US stock market ended yesterday at a modest high, but enough for the Dow Jones and S&P500 indexes to set new records for the third consecutive day, after known new figures on prices and employment in the US.
The Dow Jones ended up advancing 0.04%, to an unprecedented 35,499.85 points, and the S&P500 advancing 0.30%, to 4,460.83 units, also never reached a close. The technological Nasdaq returned to positive closings, valuing 0.35%, to 14,816.26 points.