New cases “slowing down” in the North, but there is “very expressive growth” in Viana

The rate of growth of new cases of infection by SARS-CoV-2 is “slowing down” in the North region, said an expert today, adding that this is “more notorious” in the municipality of Porto and surroundings, despite the high incidence and transmissibility .

“In the North region and in the country, we have had some slowdown in the growth of new cases of infection by SARS-CoV-2”, said Óscar Felgueiras, a specialist in epidemiology at the University of Porto.

Speaking to Lusa news agency, the specialist said that, in the North region, the “slowing of growth is more notorious” in the municipalities where the phenomenon of “overtransmission” occurred, namely the São João night festivities (24 to 25 June ).

“We are still in a growth phase, but it is less pronounced. In the North, it is clear that the pace of growth is slowing down, but it is not a decline or a brake”, stressed the mathematician.

With the growth “slowing down” in the municipalities where the phenomenon of overtransmission to the North initially occurred, namely in Porto, Matosinhos, Vila Nova de Gaia and Braga, the specialist mentioned that there is “very expressive growth” in Viana do Castelo.

“Viana do Castelo has distinguished itself. The incidence is lower than in Porto and surroundings, but it has had a very expressive growth, with the increase of cases being registered in the younger population”, he referred.

Although the phenomenon of overtransmission “has been overcome”, Óscar Felgueiras pointed out that transmission remains “high” – with the transmissibility index (called Rt) approaching 1.30 – and that the trend in the North is not predictable. reverse in the coming weeks.

Óscar Felgueiras stated that, although it is not yet possible to estimate when the transmission peak will occur, “the Algarve and the region of Lisboa and Vale do Tejo (LVT) should approach it more easily than the North and the rest of the region. parents”.

“The country is witnessing a slowdown, with emphasis on the LVT and Algarve regions, where there seems to be an approach to an eventual transmission peak”, he said, adding that in both regions “transmissibility has been decreasing for almost a month ”.

“There is, in fact, a more pronounced change in trend in both regions,” he said.

The expert recalled, however, that several “factors of uncertainty” remain, such as the behavior of the population, the implementation of new measures to combat covid-19, the closing of schools and the vacation period.

The covid-19 pandemic has caused at least 4,028,446 deaths worldwide, resulting from more than 186.3 million cases of infection by the new coronavirus, according to the most recent assessment made by the Agence France-Presse.

In Portugal, since the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, 17,156 people have died and 907,974 cases of infection have been registered, according to the Directorate-General for Health.

The respiratory disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China, and currently with variants identified in countries such as the United Kingdom, India, South Africa, Brazil and Peru.

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