COVID-19 | Daily Update

April 24, 2020

Wednesday, April 24th | COVID-19 Daily Update



In the last 24 hours, Portugal had an additional 444 infected people and 34 fatalities with COVID-19, according to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) daily epidemiological bulletin. 

The number of deaths rose from 820 to 854 (+4.2%) and the total number of confirmed cases increased from 22.353 to 22.797 (+2%).

From yesterday to today, 27 people were considered recovered, with a total of 1.228 (+2.3%) cases of recovery since the beginning of the outbreak.



The Portuguese Prime Minister announced that from the 1st to the 3rd of May it will be forbidden to travel beyond the usual county of residence. António Costa said it is necessary to repeat the same measure adopted last Easter to keep the containment level and secure the best results possible.

Hospital administrators estimate a 60% to 70% drop in scheduled activity for surgeries and 50% to 60% for programmed medical appointments.

Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Health stated that the Ministry of Health is “making a recovery plan” for the suspended clinical activity. In this sense, hospitals are turning to video calls to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and try to resume delayed medical appointments. 

The president of the Shared Services of the Ministry of Health, Luís Góis Pinheiro, confirmed that an update to the Tracecovid platform will be made.

Mortality in the area of oncology may increase in the coming years due to the delay in diagnosis during the pandemic.

Portugal is working on a mobile application, which joins the various global projects that are trying to create ways to track contacts with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese Data Protection Commission opened an investigation into municipalities for breach of confidentiality regarding patients with COVID-19.

The President of the National Association of Public Health Doctors, Ricardo Mexia, sustained that the state of emergency should not be lifted in early May if the epidemiological scenario is identical to the current one.

However, the Association for the Rights of Women in Pregnancy and Childbirth has alerted DGS to a scheduled “childbirth pandemic”, denouncing an increase in cases of pregnant women to be subjected to labour induction and caesarean surgeries without clinical indication due to COVID-19.



At least 20 European countries have already passed the peak of the pandemic. The announcement was made by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, warning that lifting the restrictions implemented too quickly may increase community transmission again. 

Spain recorded 367 deaths in the last 24 hours due to the new coronavirus, a drop from the previous day, with a total of 22.524 fatalities in the country so far.

The death toll in the UK has risen to 18.738 after the death of an additional 616 people in the past 24 hours. In the scenario that has been put forward by the British Government’s leading scientific adviser, it is expected that the number of deaths should only begin to fall within two weeks.

Germany recorded 227 deaths, an increase of 12 fatalities compared to yesterday.

The US recorded 3.176 deaths in the past 24 hours, one of the worst daily records in the country. In total, almost 50.000 people have already died in the US.

For the third consecutive day, the number of new cases in China has dropped and there have been no deaths from the disease for nine consecutive days. 

In Africa, the death toll has risen to 1.298 in the past few hours, with 27.427 registered cases of COVID-19 in 52 countries.

In Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro questioned the World Health Organization recommendations regarding the new coronavirus pandemic, because its director-general “is not a doctor”.



Remdesivir, an antiviral from Gilead Sciences, is not effective in treating patients with COVID-19 and has failed clinical trials.

The President of the USA is being criticized by the medical community, after suggesting that the effects of disinfectant injections and the use of ultraviolet light should be investigated. Besides, the vaccine specialist from the US Government says he was dismissed for opposing hydroxychloroquine. Now away from the front line of fighting the pandemic, American scientist Rick Bright accuses the Trump Administration of “clientelism” by promoting the widespread use of this medicine.

Ethics experts have warned of the risk of health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic lowering standards of scientific rigour at a time when there is a race for the vaccine.



The European Council approved a new economic recovery fund based on a review of the next multiannual financial framework. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen pledged to present a more ambitious proposal as early as May. After the meeting, António Costa said that the fund should be used for the next two or three years. 

Today, companies that have joined the lay-off are beginning to get Government support. By April 10th, 62.341 companies had opted for this measure.

Luís Miguel Ribeiro, president of the Business Association of Portugal, will present to the Government a major reindustrialization plan aimed at intermediate and final consumer goods, to relaunch the economy. 

The secretary-general of UGT (Workers Confederation) guarantees that the country cannot stand still and, therefore, says that the economic recovery must no longer be postponed. Carlos Silva also talks about the need to support companies.

In just eight days, 877 applications have been made for rent loans. In total, support amounts to approximately 860.000 euros.

In Germany, business confidence fell in April to its lowest level ever.

In the USA, the Federal Reserve is strengthening the purchase of assets in the market, in the middle of a pandemic. Successive operations led the balance to reach a new record, with 6.42 billion dollars.



The main European stock exchanges were trading lower today, feeling the lack of agreement between European leaders at the European Council. 

The EuroStoxx 600 was down 1.14% to 329.43 points. The London, Paris, and Frankfurt stock exchanges fell 1.20%, 1.47%, and 1.68%, respectively, as well as those in Madrid and Milan, which fell 1.95% and 1.45%. 

In Lisbon, the Portuguese Stock Index PSI-20, fell 1.48% to 4,085.89 points.

Interest rates on the debt of Portugal, Spain, and Italy continue to worsen, with the interest differential vis-à-vis Germany increasing.

JPMorgan is cautious, anticipating a slower recovery than investors are anticipating, meaning that the exchanges may not have hit the bottom.