COVID-19 | Daily Update

May 22, 2020

Wednesday, May 22nd | COVID-19 Daily Update



The data released today by the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) indicate that in the last 24 hours there were 12 more deaths and 288 new cases of COVID-19 infection in Portugal.  

The number of deaths rose from 1,277 to 1,289 (0.94%), while confirmed cases increased from 29,912 to 30,200 (+0.94%). 

The number of recovery cases increased from 6,452 to 7,590 (+17.64%)



The director-general of Health warned that the behaviour of the new coronavirus with high temperatures is still unknown, so Graça Freitas urged that in the summer, surveillance and protective measures should not be neglected “even for a moment”. 

The Secretary of State for Health said that more than 73,000 health professionals already have access to the Trace COVID data platform and that it is monitoring more than 398,000 confirmed or suspected cases of home care. 

António Lacerda Sales also guaranteed that serological tests carried out by entities such as hospitals, academic institutions, municipalities, or football clubs will be “taken into account” for an “evaluation of the Portuguese population’s immunization”. 

The Clinical Pathology Laboratory of the Local Health Unit of Guarda announced that it has already carried out about 9,000 diagnostic tests since the beginning of the pandemic.

At the Santa Maria Hospital, in Lisbon, one of the wards had to be closed for disinfection. The decision was made after three patients and 11 infected health professionals were confirmed at the unit.



The prospect of a second wave of infections by COVID-19 in Europe is no longer just a theory, argues the director of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Andrea Ammon warns that the important thing is to understand when and in what dimension it will happen.

In the last 24 hours, the USA recorded 1,447 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths to 94,661. The country also registered an additional 24,105 infections.  

Brazil recorded 1,188 dead and 18,508 infected in 24 hours, totalling 20,047 deaths and 310,087 diagnosed cases.

Sweden was confirmed as the country with the highest number of deaths per capita by COVID-19 in the past week. This is when, according to a study by the Swedish Public Health Agency, one in five Stockholm residents may have developed antibodies against the new coronavirus.

In Germany, another 27 fatalities were announced in the last 24 hours, for a total of 8,174, and another 460 confirmed cases, for a total of 177,212. However, the country also has about 159,000 people considered cured. 

In Belgium, there was an increase in new cases of infection and a decrease in the number of deaths and hospitalizations.

In Asia, Chinese authorities have diagnosed four new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, keeping the daily sum of infections below 10. According to the state press, the most recent outbreak of COVID-19 in China, recorded in the Northeast, has different characteristics from the original outbreak.

In South Korea, the rules have been changed for people already considered cured who are infected again. This is because, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, they no longer transmit the infection.

In Africa, the number of fatalities exceeded 3,000, with more than 99,000 infected in 54 countries.

According to an AFP (French news agency) balance sheet, released yesterday, the pandemic has already killed 329,799 people and infected more than 5 million worldwide.



AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, which have formed a partnership for the development of a vaccine for COVID-19, will begin advanced testing in humans. Yesterday, the drugmaker announced that it had received more than $ 1 billion from the US Advanced Research and Biomedical Development Authority for the development, production, and distribution of the vaccine starting this fall.

Meanwhile, and in parallel with the race to find a vaccine against the new coronavirus, large pharmaceutical companies are also competing to find monoclonal antibodies, a weapon capable of neutralizing it. 

In the United Kingdom, the universities of Brighton and Oxford have already started a study to find out whether two drugs commonly used in the treatment of malaria are effective in the treatment of COVID-19.



Today Portugal is again subject to Fitch’s assessment. The country is not expected to return to the “garbage” rating, but the second wave of COVID-19 is a risk. 

Data from Banco de Portugal show that the coincident indicators for economic activity and private consumption registered the biggest monthly falls since 1978 in April and April, reflecting the impact of the pandemic crisis.

The Prime Minister considered that it is not yet possible to proceed with a major economic recovery plan. António Costa announced that next week he will propose to the parties and social partners a program for economic and social stabilization.  

The Portuguese Socialist Party wants to create an eventual commission to monitor the country’s economic and social recovery process in the Parliament. 

In the transport sector, the Government announced that the planes will no longer have reduced passenger capacity, as of June 1, but the use of a social face mask will be mandatory.

In the context of the pandemic, the Competition Authority issued warnings about the competition rules in the moratorium of credit agreements and the sale of individual protection products.

According to the Ministry of Labor, Solidarity, and Social Security, every day more people are registering at the Employment Centers and applying for unemployment benefits, but new applications have been slowing down in May.  

Another study by DECO (Consumers’ Rights Association) indicates that each Portuguese family has lost, on average, 944 euros since the beginning of the crisis caused by the pandemic. 

In the United Kingdom, the Statistics Office revealed that the Government’s indebtedness reached 68,746 million euros in April, a record monthly amount that is explained by the spendings to combat COVID-19.



Shortly after the opening of today’s session, the Portuguese Stock Index PSI-20 was down 0.88%, with 14 of those listed below the waterline. 

The Lisbon Stock Exchange followed the pessimism experienced in the main European markets, because of the worsening tensions between China and Hong Kong. 

The Stoxx 600 yielded 1.2% and the DAX-30 depreciated 1.5%, while on the Paris and Madrid stock exchanges the falls were 1.4% and 1.2%, respectively. Oil depreciated 5%.

In Japan, the Tokyo Stock Exchange also opened down, with the Nikkei Index falling 0.18%, while in China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange closed down 1.89%.