Wednesday, May 11th | COVID-19 Daily Update
The Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) announced today that in the last 24 hours Portugal had the lowest number of new infections ever, since the beginning of the pandemic.
There have been nine more deaths and 98 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Portugal.
According to the daily epidemiological bulletin, the number of fatalities rose from 1,135 to 1,144 (+0.8%), while confirmed cases increased from 27,581 to 27,679 (0.4%).
The number of recovered patients remained at 2,549.
PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
According to the experts, starting next Wednesday, the number of new cases in Portugal will allow us to understand the effect of the first phase of deconfinement on the epidemiological evolution.
Approximately 532,000 diagnostic tests have already been carried out in nursing homes in the country. The Health Minister says that the testing of employees is not yet complete.
Health officials have also shown their intention to conduct tests on daycare workers.
Between 1st and 7th May, 52 outbreaks of COVID-19 were reported in nursing homes across the country, 13 in private companies, and some in asylum seekers’ homes.
Regarding the reopening of nursing homes, DGS presented a set of recommendations and admitted that these are a sensitive sector for imposing rules of social distance.
Before the authorization, by the DGS and the Government, for the return of football in late May, the number of cases of infection among players has increased.
The Minister of Health says that the Government will analyze the issue of registration fees required by the Health Regulatory Authority for structures designed to welcome infected people, without providing health care. Field hospitals are expected to close in July.
The unemployed and students are the ones who most request psychological support from the NHS. In the first month of operation, the SNS 24 Psychological Counseling Line answered 6,761 calls.
During the pandemic, the activity of the units of Lusíadas Saúde (private healthcare provider) was reduced by 85%, with the drop in demand and channelling of services to COVID-19. The group has already started to resume clinical activity, but it is still possible to note people’s fears of going to hospitals.
PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
As of today, many European countries begin a new stage of deconfinement. Half the population of Spain benefits from yet another relief from the very strict measures to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when the daily death toll continues to fall.
Russia announced the registration of 11,656 new cases of contamination by the new coronavirus, more than half of which in Moscow, leading the country to overtake Italy and the United Kingdom in the total number of cases.
Germany recorded 357 new cases, bringing the total number to 169,575, which translates into a slowdown in the rise compared to the last few days.
In the United Kingdom, plans have been put forward for a possible deconfinement that will start in June. For the time being, it is still “not the time to end” the restraint enacted at the end of March, explained Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
In France, with the country divided into two according to the risk of contagion, Portuguese emigrants want to return and spend the summer vacation months in Portugal, despite all the constraints.
After weeks without new coronavirus contagions or with only imported cases, South Korea, China, and Iran faced this weekend with figures that make them afraid of the second wave of COVID-19 and that forced them to back off in the meantime.
In China, a new outbreak that has yet to be detected in a city near the Russian border and the appearance of new positive cases in Wuhan are worrying about the Chinese authorities.
The USA recorded 776 deaths from the disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 79,522. This was the lowest daily number of deaths in several weeks, however, the country still has the highest number of infected people and deaths worldwide.
With 11,000 dead in the country, Brazil is just beginning to adopt tougher social isolation measures to contain the advancement of the new coronavirus.
The World Health Organization (WHO) denied the German secret services report, which revealed that Chinese President Xi Jinping would have pressured the WHO leader not to reveal that the virus was transmitted from human to human.
The director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology reiterated that the facility is safe in the face of suspicions that the virus may have inadvertently left the laboratory.
Johnson & Johnson wants to produce one billion vaccines next year. “We are going to start clinical trials in September and we hope to have results later this year,” said Paul Stoffels, director of the company’s science department.
Several international epidemiological studies have established a clear correlation between the BCG vaccine and the impact of the virus in different countries, and point out that the tuberculosis vaccine may be the new weapon against the disease COVID-19.
In the United States, New York officials are investigating a mysterious inflammatory condition that appears to be linked to the coronavirus and that has killed at least three children and infected dozens of others in that state.
The European Commission (EC) president admits infringement proceedings against Germany in response to the decision of the German Constitutional Court challenging the European Central Bank’s debt purchase program. Valdis Dombrovskis revealed that the EC wants to create a new instrument to support the solvency of European companies.
EU and UK negotiators return this week to negotiations on the future trade relationship between Brussels and London.
The impact of the coronavirus was felt drastically in Europe’s economic outlook during April this year. According to data revealed by GfK, in Portugal, economic expectations decreased by 51 points, compared to data from the previous month.
Industrial production in Italy plunged 28% in March, in what was the strongest monthly decline ever, and reflects the paralysis of the economy to contain the spread of the pandemic.
World tourism remains “paralyzed” by COVID-19, while the debate continues on the first steps that can be taken to lift restrictions in the sector, according to the World Tourism Organization.
In this sense, in Portugal, in just two weeks, 20% of companies linked to tourism have already received the “guarantee seal”, which proves that they comply with all the safety and cleaning requirements defined by DGS.
The port of Lisbon saw a 21% drop in goods handled during the first quarter of this year compared to the same period last year.
With contingency plans in place to ensure that activity continues, banks are still uncertain about the effect the pandemic will have on their business.
The Bank of Japan considers it necessary to adopt more economic and better-coordinated measures to avoid a “second Great Recession” due to the impact of the pandemic.
Trump Administration Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. unemployment rate is expected to rise in the coming weeks. The White House is considering additional measures to support the economy, including income tax cuts.
China’s direct investment in the U.S. fell in 2019 to its lowest level in ten years, illustrating the growing distance between the world’s two largest economies. Between January and March, when the new coronavirus pandemic started to hit the world economy, and especially China, this investment practically disappeared.
Angola will need to benefit from a “Marshall Plan” for Africa, said the president of the Portugal-Angola Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The country “will have a hard time surviving” the pandemic if there is no financial aid plan for Africa.
The national stock exchange is trading on the negative ground at the start of this week.
The Portuguese PSI-20 opened to fall by 0.06%.
In Europe, stock exchanges opened up to trade in “green”. In Germany, DAX grows 0.27%, in the United Kingdom, FTSE 100 rises 0.75%, French CAC 40 increases 0.06%, Dutch AEX rises 0.36%.
In Spain, the IBEX35 values 0.75% and the Italian FTSE MIB grow 1.21%.
Interest rates on Portuguese debt were falling for two years and rising for five and ten years compared to Friday, in line with those in Spain. Interest rates in Greece, Ireland, and Italy fell at all deadlines.