Friday, July 9th | COVID-19 Daily Update
Data advanced today by the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) indicate that, over the last 24 hours, 3,194 new cases of infection and seven deaths associated with COVID-19 were recorded in Portugal.
According to the epidemiological bulletin, there are currently 902,489 confirmed cases and 17,142 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
As for the recovered patients, 1,727 more were counted, which makes the total number grow to 842,024.
THE PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
There was a worsening of the COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal over the last week. This was the assessment of the Ministers’ Council yesterday, which announced a 54% increase in new cases.
Thus, the PT Government announced new measures to reduce the spread of the disease and updated the risk levels of the various municipalities. Emphasis on the requirement of a complete vaccination certificate or negative test for dining inside restaurants, from 7 pm every Friday and during weekends and holidays.
This measure will be overseen by ASAE, PSP, and GNR, and fines may reach 10,000 euros. Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva explained that this administrative ruling is in force for other limitations that exist within the scope of measures to combat the pandemic, namely the capacity and opening hours in commercial establishments and restaurants.
For now, the Government will maintain the risk matrix for the assessment of the pandemic and adds that the measures are taken “because of the global evolution of the pandemic numbers” regarding several indicators.
Portugal yesterday reached a new record in the number of vaccines administered, that is, 158,000 doses administered in one day.
It should be noted that Portugal is the country in the world that is vaccinating the fastest against COVID-19, in an average of seven days, according to the Our World in Data platform.
In turn, Vice Admiral Gouveia e Melo, who coordinated the vaccination task force, has already come to thank the “civic, tolerant and responsible” behaviour of the overwhelming majority of users, although he adds that “reports of often less correct behaviour” continue to arrive from some people towards the many professionals working at the various COVID Vaccination Centers.
The French Secretary of State for European Affairs, on the other hand, clarified yesterday that “there is no ban on travelling” to Portugal, despite having advised against these trips due to the risk of contagion, and has apologized to the PT Government for his public statement.
THE PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The population of the European Union decreased by 312,000 people, most likely due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data released by Eurostat.
The number of infections continues to rise in Spain, especially at younger ages.
According to figures released by the Ministry of Health, among young people aged 20 to 29, the accumulated incidence soared to a level of 911 infected people per 100,000 people in the last 14 days.
In the United Kingdom, more than 32,000 infections were registered for the second consecutive day. The concentration of people to watch England’s games at Euro2020 could be at the origin of this increase.
In turn, Germany is reporting cases of reinfection, with 4,000 cases of people with the complete vaccination scheme against COVID-19 getting infected again, and the Robert Koch Institute revealed that the country has already reached 40% of the population immunized.
Russia is ready to discuss with the European Union the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates or COVID-19 digital passports, after receiving a letter to that effect from Brussels.
Across the Atlantic, Brazil is the second nation with the highest number of deaths in the world. The country had a total of 530,179 thousand lives lost since the beginning of the pandemic in the country.
Regarding the case of the vaccine negotiation bribe, the former director of Logistics at the Brazilian Ministry of Health Roberto Dias authorized a contract 1800% more expensive than recommended by technicians.
Pfizer asked the US regulator for emergency approval of the third dose of the vaccine. The goal is to improve effectiveness against the Delta variant. The pharmacist will already be developing the third dose, as an eventual booster may be needed between six to 12 months after full vaccination. However, the EMA (European Medicines Agency) says it is too early to determine if more than the two injections are needed.
On the other hand, WHO (World Health Organization) classified the Lambda variant as “a variant of interest”, to which epidemiologist Manuel Carmo Gomes recalls that this is not the same as being classified as a variant of concern. And he adds that it is necessary to understand well whether or not this variant will be competitive enough, concerning Delta, for example, to make us truly alert, something that virologist Pedro Simas considers “possible, but unlikely”.
Yesterday, the Government approved the creation of a Capitalization and Resilience Fund of 1,300 million euros, within the scope of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, which aims to support the companies most affected by the crisis.
For Pedro Siza Vieira, “this decree-law establishes the regime to which the availability of these funds will be subject”, and correspond to “one of the goals of the Recovery and Resilience Plan”.
Yesterday, the Government also approved public guarantees for the sectors most affected by the pandemic, intended for the post-moratorium period. The Economy Minister said that these guarantees could be used “in the context of discussions that companies in these sectors and their financiers may establish to ensure a debt restructuring or refinancing.
At the same time, INE (PR Statistics Board) revealed that Portugal received 6.5 million non-resident tourists in 2020. Spain remained the main source of international tourists, with a share of 28.5%. This number corresponds to a reduction of 73.7% compared to 2019 when the country had registered a positive evolution of 7.9% in this indicator.
The European Central Bank has announced changes in the way it will drive interest rates, an almost 2% ceiling on inflation disappears. This target becomes a central value of 2% and the ECB will tolerate values above that, which could delay the rise in interest rates.
In the UK, Boris Johnson’s Government has decided that vaccinated British adults and children can travel to yellow list destinations. The Algarve Tourism operators consider this decision as positive but are cautious. On one hand, due to internal restrictions in Portuguese territory, and on the other hand, because of the warnings left by other countries.
The Portuguese stock market was trading this morning in negative territory, bucking the European trend.
Despite having started the session on a high, the PSI-20 yielded 0.14%, to 5,143.79 points. Among the main European markets, the German DAX added 0.72%, the French CAC 40 advanced 1.01%, the British FTSE 100 rose 0.58% and the Spanish IBEX 35 gained 0.24%.
It should be noted that the Governor of the Bank of Spain, Pablo Hernández de Cos, said that in the coming weeks the Council of Governors of the European Central Bank will define the objectives and deadlines for a formal project on the digital euro.