Friday, April 23rd | COVID-19 Daily Update
Portugal registered an additional 506 cases of infection and one death associated with the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours.
According to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin, the country has now an accumulated number of 833,397 confirmed cases and 16,957 fatalities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, another 580 people recovered from the disease, which makes the total number grow to 791.751.
The Rt (transmissibility rate) remained at 0.98 nationally and 0.99 on the continent.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
Restrictions on weekends could end in early May when the last phase of the deconfinement plan is due to start.
The Government’s plan for the fourth phase of the reopening includes the end of hour restrictions, which are in effect on weekends, but only if the evolution of the pandemic is favorable.
People over 65 years old can now choose the date and place to be vaccinated through the Self-scheduling Portal for Vaccination against COVID-19, which starts operating today. The Shared Services of the Ministry of Health stated that this feature allows users to choose the vaccination point at which they want to be vaccinated.
Regarding the increase in cases of the new coronavirus, Pedro Simas says that “May is going to be very different”. In an interview, the virologist from the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Lisbon says he has good news and that “June will be a practically normal month”, but he also warns that if there is a “great and uncontrolled” number of new infections, this can lead to the death of people who are not considered to be part of a risk group.
Yesterday, the National Parliament approved a vote of condolences for the deadly victims of the COVID-19 pandemic registered in Portugal, highlighting the work of health professionals at the forefront. The vote, presented by the President of the Assembly of the Republic, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, was unanimously approved.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The European Union today closed another agreement with Pfizer / BioNTech to purchase 1.8 million doses of vaccine against COVID-19 from these companies.
On the other hand, vaccines still do not reach the poorest countries. The complaint was made by the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), on the day that marks the first anniversary of the United Nations’ COVAX program, whose objective is to ensure that all countries have access to vaccination.
Regarding the number of cases of the disease, the USA continues to be the country with the most deaths and the most people infected with COVID-19. In the last 24 hours, there were 786 deaths and 56,236 new cases, according to the independent count from Johns Hopkins University.
Brazil accounted for 2,027 deaths and 45,178 patients infected with the new coronavirus, bringing the total to 383,502 deaths and 14,167,973 infections since the beginning of the pandemic, said a Government representative.
India has also seen an exponential increase in cases, with the announcement that, over the last 24 hours, more than 300,000 people are infected with COVID-19 and there are still 2,263 deaths to mourn.
In Europe, the cumulative incidence of SARS-CoV-2 in seven days has increased in Germany to 164 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, compared with 161.1 yesterday, with 27,543 new infections. As for the number of deaths related to the new coronavirus, it has risen to 265 in the last 24 hours.
France registered 34,318 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday and the number of critically ill patients continues to rise, but Prime Minister Jean Castex said that the peak of the third wave of the pandemic in the country has passed.
The vaccine against COVID-19, which is being developed by the Portuguese company Immunethep, is due to start testing on humans in the summer of this year. This, at least, is the will of the laboratory behind Silba, which wants the solution on the market in 2022. But unlike the vaccines used so far, this one will not be injected: it will be inhalable, in the same way as a pump for asthma.
On the other hand, a study carried out by Israel found that the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech is even effective in preventing symptoms and serious states of COVID-19 in chronic and at-risk patients.
It is the largest investigation carried out to date, which involved almost 1.4 million people. The next phase of the evaluation of the Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19 will begin on 10 May by the WHO panel of technical experts, in conjunction with the European Medicines Agency. The first tests of the Russian vaccine started in March.
The deficit in the Euro Zone increased by 8.0% of GDP, compared to 6.4% in the previous quarter. The European Union also saw its deficit rise by 7.5%, compared to 6.1% in the third quarter of 2020, according to data released today by the Eurostat statistics office. These increases were due to the growth in spending motivated by government policies to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the same time, an order from the Portuguese Secretary of State for Tax Affairs gives taxpayers more time to fulfill their tax obligations in VAT and IRC and extends until September 30 the possibility for PDF invoices to be accepted. The VAT declarations for June and July of the monthly regime can be submitted until the 20th of each month and the respective tax delivered to the State until the 25th without any additions or penalties.
As for the national minimum wage, it is expected to rise by around 40 euros next year, an increase of close to 6% compared to the current 665 euros. According to an official source from the Ministry of Finance, this increase would raise the amount to 705 euros per month.
In Italy, Prime Minister Mario Draghi will present today the Italian Recovery Plan, which is expected to be just a first draft for the application of the 220 billion euros of investment.
The President of the United States, on the other hand, intends to almost double the tax for capital gains of one million dollars or more. The measure aims to finance a social support plan that Joe Biden is expected to announce next week.
The Portuguese stock exchange was trading this morning on positive ground, with the PSI-20 adding 0.15% to 5,018.16 points.
Among the main European markets, the German DAX fell 0.23%, the British FTSE 100 fell 0.32%, the French CAC 40 yielded 0.20% and the Spanish IBEX 35 fell 0.36%.
As for the Tokyo Stock Exchange, it closed lower today, with the main index, the Nikkei, losing 0.57%, to 29,020.63 points. In the last transactions of the day, the second indicator, Topix, decreased 0.39%, to 1,914.98 points.