Wednesday, May 11th | COVID-19 Daily Update
The Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) announced today that in the last 24 hours the number of recovered patients rose 2%, meaning a total of 2,549 who already left the hospitals.
There have been 9 more deaths and 175 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Portugal.
According to the epidemiological bulletin, the number of fatalities went from 1,126 to 1,135 (+0.8%), while confirmed cases increased from 27,406 to 27,581 (+0.6%).
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
The Minister of Health, Marta Temido, considered yesterday, in the daily press conference, that the first week of deflation “is encouraging”, given the recorded behaviours, but stressed the need to preserve “different rules” to have a gradual return to “the best possible normality”.
Nevertheless, the coordinator of the Ricardo Jorge Institute’s Epidemiological Research Unit, Baltazar Nunes, believes that the number of new cases of COVID-19 will increase in Portugal in the coming weeks.
Even comparing per million inhabitants, the number of cases of COVID-19 in Portugal is much lower compared to the countries that register the most infections, the same occurring in deaths, although on a larger scale.
And when it comes to screening tests, the country surpasses all countries with the highest number of cases and deaths, with almost 49 thousand tests per million inhabitants.
The price the Government pays for face masks, by direct agreement, has already increased by more than 2,000% since the beginning of March. A simple mask cost less than four cents, but the last company that did business with the official health authorities sold them at 76 cents per unit.
Some users are faced with the obligation to buy a mask when going for treatment in medical clinics, even when they show themselves with protection, a practice that ASAE (National Authority on Food and Economic Safety) has already guaranteed to be illegal.
The Minister of Health guaranteed yesterday that the DGS and the competent authorities will complete, by the end of the week, the preparation for resuming visits to nursing homes and health care units, among others. Altogether, according to Graça Freitas, 450 nursing home users have already died in Portugal.
A study by the National School of Public Health reveals that the new coronavirus affects the poorest population more, in terms of risk exposure, but also mortality and unemployment.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
A new coronavirus screening centre will open tomorrow in the European Parliament building in Strasbourg, to allow testing, after medical prescription, of up to two thousand people a day.
The new coronavirus pandemic has killed 276,435 people and has infected nearly four million worldwide since December, according to the latest AFP (French news agency) balance sheet, based on official countries’ data.
Mexico and Russia are the countries where the infection is presently growing at the fastest pace. With 200,000 cases, Russia is now the biggest focus of the disease in Europe.
Spain recorded 143 deaths due to the pandemic in the last 24 hours, the lowest number since March 18th, with a total of 26,621 deaths so far.
In France, one of the European member states most affected by the pandemic, the state of health emergency was extended until 10th July.
In the United Kingdom, where the chance of imposing a 14-day quarantine on all travellers is not being welcomed by the sector, 346 new deaths were recorded, bringing the total number of deaths to 31,587.
In the last 24 hours, 730 people died in Brazil due to COVID-19, with the country’s mortality rate being 6.8%. Since yesterday, 10,701 new confirmed cases were also included in the data released by the Brazilian Government.
The President of the Republic of Angola declared yesterday a new period of the state of emergency for another 15 days, warning about the risks of community transmission of COVID-19 if the measures imposed until now are relaxed.
The number of cases in Africa has exceeded 60,000 and 2,223 people have died in 53 countries, according to the most recent statistics on the continent’s pandemic.
In South Korea, 34 new cases have been detected in the last 24 hours.
US President Donald Trump says the new coronavirus will disappear without the need for a vaccine, but in Washington, the Convention Center is being adapted to host a 1,200-bed field hospital.
Yesterday in New York, two children and a teenager died due to complications from COVID-19.
Former US President Barack Obama calls Trump’s response to the pandemic an “absolutely chaotic disaster”.
There is yet another consortium of companies promising a vaccine against COVID-19 by the end of the year.
In the USA, Pfizer and Biontech have already started testing on humans, with 360 volunteers.
In Hong Kong, a combination of three antiviral drugs, together with an immune system booster, will have helped some patients with COVID-19 to improve their infection more quickly.
A team of researchers from the University of Bern managed to replicate Sars-CoV-2 from synthetic DNA. The discovery prompted several requests from companies and other researchers and may help speed up the development of a vaccine.
Doctors do not know which organs are most affected in the long term by COVID-19, and it is not only in the lungs that immediate or permanent damage occurs.
This week, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of inflammatory reactions in the vascular system and brain, and the heart is at risk of permanent damage.
Several African countries are placing purchase orders with Madagascar, which has announced it has a cure for COVID-19. The herbal drink has already been the subject of a warning from the WHO, which points out that the effectiveness of the alleged remedy has not been proven and that it can mislead consumers.
PwC consultancy firm is working on a contact tracking application with the new coronavirus that uses Bluetooth on mobile phones.
The Minister of Finance and President of the Eurogroup, Mário Centeno, considered today, on Twitter, that the current crisis caused by the pandemic of COVID-19 is a human tragedy and defended the need for a “powerful plan” to recover Europe.
Planning Minister Nelson de Souza clarified that Portugal no longer received funds from Brussels to halt the impact of the disease, but that it had greater liquidity for having accessed Portugal 2020 funds that were not yet available.
The Government can anticipate the payment of direct aid to farmers as early as the summer, a hypothesis admitted by the Minister of Agriculture, in an interview with Antena 1 radio and “Negócios” financial newspaper.
On the family side, today is the last day to ask for state support.
Portugal’s exports to Angola in the first quarter of this year fell 22%, dropping to 224 million in the first three months of 2020.
According to SEF (Portuguese Border Control), investment captured through gold visas also fell 46% in April, compared to the same month of 2019, to 28 million euros.
Porto and North Tourism will advance in June with a recovery plan for the sector.
A survey by Nova SBE / “Visão” reveals that the Portuguese are less concerned about the pandemic, but that concerning economic perspectives, the scenario is black.
On Europe’s Day, the President of the European Commission said that the pandemic revealed that “it is not a solution” for the countries of the European Union to “turn inward”, stressing the need for solidarity in the community.
This happens at a time when a legal war with Germany is in progress, and the Commission is threatening to sanction the country by the Constitutional decision on the European Central Bank.
The International Monetary Fund, on the other hand, considers that the moment of debt suspension has not yet arrived and defended the participation of the private sector to alleviate developing countries.
In Switzerland, several humanitarian organizations are trying to address the food shortages of thousands of people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The issuance of the new Bitcoin will be cut in half tomorrow. The phenomenon is known as halving and has the potential to influence the value of the virtual currency over the next four years.