On Wednesday, 362 more cases of infection with the new coronavirus in Portugal were confirmed. This Thursday, the same indicator rose to 399. The growth of daily cases, in the last two days, may be nothing more than a statistical adjustment, reminded yesterday (26th) the Minister of Health, but it is still an alert for “the fragility of our achievements “, said Marta Temido.
At a time when the number of new infections has increased significantly in Spain, France or the United Kingdom, for example, the Portuguese government announced, on Thursday, more preventive measures. The president of the National Association of Public Health Doctors recalls that the pandemic has not disappeared and that September will bring new challenges (such as returning to face-to-face classes), which may have an impact on the number of cases of covid. “We are all a little apprehensive about what is going to happen now,” says Ricardo Mexia to DN.
“We cannot let our guard down, especially in this period of resumption, the end of holidays, the beginning of school activity. All of this will have an important impact, especially if we start this period with a number of cases of this nature”, points out the public health specialist at the National Health Institute Doutor Ricardo Jorge.
Since Monday, the Directorate-General for Health has confirmed a further 1076 cases of covid-19, even though, on the first two days of the week, daily infections did not reach the 200 barrier. the 399 cases are the highest number of records in 24 hours since the 10th of June (when 402 were notified). The region of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley, where the two mortal victims of the last day lived, is the one with the most infections (186), followed by the north (161).
There are 37 more new cases than the day before, when the Minister of Health, in a press conference, spoke about the possibility that the numbers at the beginning of the week are “artificially lower than in reality”. “We hope that these numbers will fade in the next few days. Which we can confirm over time,” continued Marta Temido.
The increase in cases in the last 48 hours, which is not reflected in the number of deaths or hospitalizations, can still be interpreted, according to the minister, as an example of the “fragility of our conquests” in the fight against the covid-19 pandemic. “We have had an epidemiological situation that has been accommodating from the point of view of the response of the Portuguese health system, and specifically the National Health Service”, but at any moment the situation can be reversed.
Doctor Ricardo Mexia speaks of the same volatility. “We had a hard time lowering the numbers. Then, finally, we managed to get them close to 100 and now we are back to the bar over 300 again. I always have a lot of difficulty in interpreting these numbers, because they are variable and not just about the behavior of the disease, but we cannot help but be concerned, with the countries next door, Spain and France, which already have an important growth “, points out the specialist.
Last month, the possibility of a second pandemic wave again dominated conversations in foreign countries closer to Portugal.
In Spain, the more than 140 thousand infections registered in two months justify the designation of a second wave, point out experts heard by the newspaper The country, who criticize the speed with which the Spaniards lost confidence. In the last 24 hours, the country has registered an additional 3781 new cases of covid-19, not counting the Valencian community. In total, since the pandemic began, Spain has recorded 429 507 cases and 28 996 deaths.
Spain confirmed 3 781 new cases of covid-19 in the last 24 hours.
A large part of the new outbreaks in the neighboring country are related to parties, gatherings of young people, mainly in night entertainment spaces. That is why contagion has accelerated among the youngest.
In Spain it is no longer allowed to go out without a mask on. And even children over 6 years of age will have to use this personal protective equipment when they return to school, Spanish Health Minister Salvador Illa announced this Thursday.
On the same day, French Prime Minister Jean Castex revealed that the use of the mask will become mandatory everywhere in Paris.
Some cities like Toulouse or Marseille had already extended the use of a mask to the outside of the city, but the Parisian plan was missing, where it was only mandatory in some streets and in closed spaces.
In the last 24 hours, more than 6,111 new cases of covid-19 have been reported, the highest number since the end of the confinement, according to French authorities. Most infections occurred in the Paris region and in the southwest of the country. Since the beginning of the pandemic, France has confirmed 259 698 infections and 30 576 fatalities.
Portugal enters a state of contingency on September 15
“What we’ve seen all over Europe is an increase in numbers in the last few days and the government cannot remain indifferent to this increase and cannot help but prepare,” said on Thursday, the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, following a meeting of the Council of Ministers, where it was decided that the country will enter a state of contingency from September 15.
“The numbers from the last day and what we know from today’s numbers show an increase in the number of cases and, therefore, despite this downward trend in the region of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo and the relatively constant trend over the last fortnight, the government considers that what it must do is continue with exactly the same measures that existed until now in the next fortnight “, continued the ruler.
The executive is preparing to tighten up health protection measures in two weeks time, moving the entire country from “alert situation” to “contingency situation”, the second most serious of the three provided for in the Civil Protection Bases Law.
The new measures, which remain to be detailed, will be very focused on the reopening of schools and will include the StayAway Covid application, which should be operational next week.
For Ricardo Mexia, this concern is “fundamental”, despite highlighting the “heterogeneous experiences” with the application of contact screening of covid-19, since it has proved “unsuccessful” in some countries and a “good contribution in others”.
The president of the National Association of Public Health Doctors also mentions the importance of these measures to involve an anticipation of the flu vaccine this year, as the director-general of Health addressed in a press conference, and that there is a reinforcement of health professionals in this at that time, namely from public health specialists. “What my colleagues in the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region tell me is that in fact there was some reinforcement, but that reinforcement has since been demobilized”, points out Ricardo Mexia.