Friday, April 16th | COVID-19 Daily Update
Portugal had an additional 553 cases of infection and four deaths associated with the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours.
According to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin, the country now has an accumulated 829,911 confirmed cases and a total of 16,937 fatalities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, 596 more people recovered from the disease, which makes the total number grow to 787,607.
As for the Rt (transmissibility rate), it has slightly dropped to 1.05.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
Most of the country is taking a step forward, next Monday, in the third stage of the deconfinement plan outlined by the Government.
It should be noted that Beja should not proceed to the new phase, but the DGS came to correct it today and is now placing the municipality from the lower Alentejo below the red line.
Yesterday, in the words he addressed to the country, the Prime Minister appealed to the general duty of recollection, reiterating that contacts outside of the household must be contained.
António Costa also left a compliment to the general population, which has generally complied with the restrictions that have been imposed by the Government.
However, due to the high risk of contagion, in all municipalities on the island of São Miguel, in the Azores, the largest and most populated Azorean island, it is forbidden to travel on public roads between 8:00 pm and 5:00 am during the week and between 3:00 pm and 5:00 am at the weekend, due to a higher risk level.
Portugal will receive 1.15 million advance doses of the Pfizer vaccine in the second quarter, as part of the contract signed between the pharmaceutical company and the European Union, for the purchase of 50 million extra doses, the delivery of which was scheduled for the fourth quarter but is now being anticipated.
Also noteworthy is the data that has now been made available by the National Pharmacy Association, informing that in just two weeks, 199 thousand COVID-19 tests were sold and made (104 thousand self-tests and 95 thousand professional tests).
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
The CEO of pharmaceutical company Pfizer announced that the population that is inoculated with this vaccine against COVID-19 should “probably” have to receive a third dose within 12 months after receiving the second and, so far, last dose. Albert Bourla also admitted the possibility that people may need to be vaccinated against the new coronavirus every year.
In Spain, the Digital Green Certificate will be implemented in late June and will work through a QR code, which allows any European citizen to enter the country, without having to carry out any diagnostic tests or having to comply with quarantine. The information came from the secretary-general of Digital Health, Alfredo González.
Germany continues to record high numbers of daily infection cases in the country. Today, more than 25,831 people were infected, bringing the total number of cases to 3,099,273, since the beginning of the pandemic.
France has surpassed the 100,000 deaths by COVID-19, French officials announced, now joining the UK.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the USA recorded 974 deaths and 74,293 infected with the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, still being the country with the highest number of deaths due to COVID-19 and also with more cases of infection.
The Brazilian government’s lack of political will and the failed response to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic are killing thousands of Brazilians and leading Brazil to a humanitarian catastrophe, the international NGO Médecins Sans Frontières accused yesterday. The largest Portuguese-speaking country, which continues to go through the most critical phase of the pandemic, recorded 3,560 more deaths and 73,174 cases of infection with the new coronavirus over the last 24 hours.
Portugal will have a vaccine against COVID-19. The results obtained in the first animal tests showed promising results in the ability to produce antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. For the scientist responsible for the research being carried out by the team of the biotechnology company Immunethep, Pedro Madureira, “the results are excellent. Now, it is essential that we can continue with the process”, he added.
Meanwhile, a study, called the Longitudinal Serological Panel COVID-19, analyzed the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in blood samples taken between the 1stand the 17th of March, in Portugal. The research estimates that, in March, 13% of the Portuguese population would have antibodies against the COVID-19 coronavirus after natural infection, a percentage that rises to 17% when vaccinated persons are also included.
Another research has found that the contagion of the new coronavirus offers some protection to the young population, but does not guarantee complete immunity against reinfection. According to the researchers, this means that some reinfected people can transmit the virus, although it is a conclusion that, they warn, requires more research to be confirmed.
The Government reinforced by 400 million euros the support for companies in the Recovery and Resilience Plan that will be presented today in Lisbon. After criticism from business confederations and contributions from public consultation, the Government reformulated some of the components and updated the support for companies.
Portuguese exports are expected to increase 8.7% in 2021 and 7.9% in 2022, due to the global recovery and tourism, according to the Stability Program. According to the document, approved yesterday, “exports will recover from the 18.6% drop in 2020, reflecting not only the increase in global external demand but also the resumption of tourism”.
Regarding the tax burden, for this year the Government estimates that it is equivalent to 33.7% of GDP, which represents a decrease compared to the record level of 34.6% reached last year.
The Finance Minister João Leão does not welcome the creation of a special solidarity tax that would help to cancel the asymmetries in Portugal, because, he says, this would create “instability, uncertainty and less confidence, which would not be positive conditions for the recovery”, the Government’s priority.
The annual inflation rate in the Eurozone stood at 1.3% in March, compared to 0.9% in February, an increase of 0.4 percentage points, whereas in 2020 the rate was 0.7%.
In the European Union, the inflation rate was 1.7% in March, compared to 1.3% in the previous month, according to data from the Eurostat statistical office released today.
The Portuguese stock exchange started today on negative ground, but during the morning it was already trading on the green, with the PSI-20 adding 0.05%, to 4,990.71 points.
Among the main European markets, the German DAX rose 0.25%, the British FTSE 100 0.46%, the French CAC 40 0.22%, and the Spanish IBEX 35 0.19%.