Friday, April 29th | COVID-19 Daily Update
Over the last 24 hours, there were 470 new cases of COVID-19 infection and one death in Portugal, according to data provided by the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS).
According to today’s epidemiological bulletin, there are currently 836,033 confirmed cases and 16,974 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
Regarding recovered patients, 545 more were recorded, which makes the total number grow to 795,326.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The Government approves today the measures for the 4th and last phase of the deconfinement plan, which should include the return of major outdoor events, of all sports, and the lifting of opening hours restrictions in the restaurants. The authorities may not even wait for Monday and decide to move forward with the new phase of the deconfinement already this weekend.
In turn, the president of Infarmed (Medicines Authority) clarifies in an interview that if the approval of the CureVac vaccine takes place within what is expected, the process may be concluded: “in less than two months”. Rui Ivo explains that the biggest problem related to access to vaccines is “mainly in production capacity”, although access has “been increasing”.
Porto will have a new vaccination centre for COVID-19 in the future Parque de Saúde do Cerco, in Campanhã, and its installation will be partly supported by the municipality.
Yesterday, several people were summoned to visit a vaccination centre in Sacavém, which had not yet opened. The opening of the space is scheduled for Thursday.
At the same time, the Independent Union of Medical Doctors revealed yesterday that the extraordinary risk subsidy created in the context of the pandemic is not being paid in most cases. And it underlines the fact that family doctors are not able to accompany their usual patients, given the extra tasks they have been assigned because of COVID-19.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that the number of new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection fell for the first time in two months, but noted that the infection rate remains high. Almost half of all cases of infection registered in the European region since the start of the pandemic were diagnosed in the first four months of 2021.
In turn, India announced the registration of a new world record of contagions, with 379,257 cases, and, in the last 24 hours, it registered an additional 3,645 deaths, a new high in the country.
Meanwhile, Portugal will send half a tonne of the antiviral Remdesivir to India. It is the national response to the request for help launched by that country to face the advance of the pandemic. At this time, Portugal is waiting for the European Civil Protection Mechanism to indicate the delivery point for the 5,503 bottles of that medicine.
In the American continent, Brazil added 79,726 infections by the new coronavirus numbers over the last 24 hours, informed the Brazilian Ministry of Health. Regarding the number of deaths, the largest Portuguese-speaking country recorded 3,163 deaths.
The United States, on the other hand, accounted for 724 deaths and 53,022 cases of the disease in the past 24 hours, Johns Hopkins University reported.
In Africa, there were 352 more deaths associated with COVID-19 and there are now 10,046 more infected, according to the most recent official data from the African continent.
Moderna announced its intention to invest in the manufacturing process to produce three billion doses of the vaccine against COVID-19 in 2022. In particular, it highlights the intention to invest in the group’s facilities in Lonza, Switzerland, one of the points of higher production in the pharmaceutical industry.
On the other hand, the vaccine against the new coronavirus, developed by Pfizer and the German BioNTech, will need a third dose “after nine months” and “probably, a booster every year or year and a half”, said yesterday Ugur Sahin, co-founder of the German pharmaceutical company.
It should also be noted that BioNTech announced today that it is about to apply for authorization for the use of its vaccine against COVID-19 in children aged 12 to 15 years in the European Union.
An experiment carried out in the laboratory exposed a solution with the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 at a temperature of 72ºC and managed to decrease the amount of the microorganism by 100 thousand times.
Finally, the Butantan Institute, in Brazil, started the production of the first vaccine against COVID-19 developed in the country. However, the National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) asked for additional information about the formula, to authorize the realization of what will be Butanvac’s first study in humans.
The tax burden on labour income in Portugal rose in 2020 for the second consecutive year, in contrast to the situation in the vast majority of OECD countries, where falls in average wages or relief measures in the response to COVID-19 reduced the burden of taxes and Social Security contributions on labour costs.
For its part, the Public Finance Council states that the Multiannual Public Expenditure Framework included in the 2021-2025 Stability Program provides for lower total expenditure limits for the years 2021 to 2024, with the biggest difference in the Public Debt Management Program.
INE (PT Statistics Bureau) indicates that Portuguese consumers and companies are more optimistic about the future of the economy and the values are approaching pre-pandemic levels.
It should also be noted that the Portuguese economy will change from negative to positive values in the coming quarters and is expected to grow 4% in 2021 and accelerate to 5.1% in 2022. The forecast is made by BBVA bank economists, who allude to several factors that explain the expected acceleration in the GDP growth.
Regarding the European Parliament, the proposal for the creation of a “digital green certificate” for people who have already been vaccinated was approved today, aiming to facilitate freedom of movement in the European Union. The measure is expected to take effect until summer.
The Portuguese stock exchange opened today’s session on a high, with the PSI-20 adding 0.90% this morning, to 5,062.85 points, which is the second consecutive earnings session and the third of the week.
In turn, Euronext today announced the completion of the purchase of the Italian stock exchange from the London Stock Exchange, for a value of 4.4 billion euros.
The deal was revealed in October last year, having been given the green light by European regulators already this year, in March.