COVID-19 | Daily Update

April 12, 2020

Wednesday, April 12th | COVID-19 Daily Update



The Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) today revealed the record of 16.585 confirmed cases of Covid-19 infection in Portugal, 598 more than yesterday (growth rate of 3.7% in the last 24 hours).

The number of deaths rose from 470 to 504, plus 34, an increase of 3% over the previous day.

There are 277 persons recovered (+11 than yesterday), 1.177 are hospitalized, 228 of them in intensive care units (less 5 than yesterday).

The North region is the one in Portugal with the highest number of confirmed infections (9.747) 1.419 of them in Braga District.

Braga Municipality is the 6th county in Portugal with the highest number of cases (621, +42 than yesterday).



The Portuguese Minister of Health believes that Portugal has already reached a “plateau phase”, and added that the NHS will only pay private hospitals for the treatment of patients referred by public hospitals and justified the increase in new cases in Friday’s bulletin with a “peak” of late notifications in the medical field of the National Epidemiological Surveillance System.

Marta Temido also clarified that there is no prohibition on reporting pandemic data to city councils and asked local health authorities to “focus on sending information on time”.

The Portuguese Guild of Doctors sustains the use of masks to face the pandemic after the state of emergency being lifted, which may happen on May 2nd, adding that they should be used until the country returns to a routine when the virus stops to be a threat.

A scientific document prepared at the request of the Council of Portuguese Medical Schools also recommends the widespread use of masks by the population and, in the absence of surgical masks, homemade masks may serve as a last resort to prevent asymptomatic people with COVID-19 from contaminating others.

The direction of Hospital Francisco Zagalo said that the Ovar field hospital will start operating tomorrow and says that it is the first in the country “fully equipped to receive infected patients”, with normal and articulated beds, monitors for reading vital signs and electrocardiograms, among other resources.



The European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, sustained in an interview that the elderly should remain isolated and with limited contacts until the end of this year, particularly those living in nursing homes, and advised every European citizen against booking a summer vacation in 2020.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, France has accounted for more than 13.800 deaths and nearly 5.000 in nursing homes,

The United Kingdom has now 80.000 confirmed infected people and in Spain, there are 166.019.

The United States is still the country most affected by the pandemic and has already registered 519.453 people infected and 20.071 deaths. More than 341.000 people are already considered cured, according to the Johns Hopkins University report. 

Brazil has now 20.727 confirmed cases and 1.124 deaths.

According to the bulletin of the African Union’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in the last 24 hours, the number of deaths in Africa by COVID-19 has risen from 693 to 744, while infections have increased from 12.973 to 13.686.

In Asia, the Chinese National Health Commission reported that it had not reported any deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, but 99 new cases of infection were reported. South Korean authorities reported that 91 patients reported to have recovered had positive tests again.

WHO is investigating reinfections, but it does not foresee what may be behind this “trend”.

An investigation carried out by the British newspaper Daily Mail reveals that the Wuhan Institute of Virology, where the pandemic is believed to have started, had been conducting coronavirus tests on bats over the past few years in a US-funded project.



Sarah Gilbert, a researcher at the University of Oxford, believes that the vaccine her team is developing may be effective against COVID-19 and says it may be available next September.

In the last month, there was an increase in the number of cases of young and healthy people infected by the new coronavirus that ended up not resisting the disease. To solve the mystery, experts believe that DNA may be the key. The method followed by all investigations is to compare the genetic code of patients severely affected by the new coronavirus with the DNA of asymptomatic patients.



Public servants will not lose any benefits due to the crisis caused by the coronavirus, since the Portuguese Government does not intend to cut salaries, nor to freeze careers or promotions in the Public Administration. 

Local commerce is also trying to maintain the level of income and is creating new forms of business to survive the state of emergency. Municipal markets are open with more offer and restaurants are delivering personalized meals. 

Even so, the Portuguese Hotels and Restaurants Association fears that it will not be enough to maintain the activity and says that the strategy of “going into debt now to pay later” will not save companies, already totally strangled.

With more than 80% of the real estate companies stopped, the delay in revising the Residence Permit for Investment Activity regime, known as “golden visas”, may prove to be a saving bubble for the sector. 

At the level of the reinvention of the industry, masks and visors are the most visible face of it, and some others are producing personal protective suits and shoes for health professionals.

In France, Air France KLM’s results have been plummeting, but French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire confirmed that the Government will move forward with “massive support”.

While many Wall Street companies have told most employees to work remotely, several traders and bankers who are at home say they have received phone calls and messages from managers asking them to return to their offices, some of them with contagion focuses.

Those who seem not being afraid of the pandemic are the owners of Walmart, who saw their net worth rise 2.6% this year to US$ 165.7 billion, driven by consumers afraid of a recession who rushed to stores to fill their pantry with essential products.



The Portuguese economist Vítor Bento predicts a “major recession” in Portugal, the size of which will depend on the economy’s downtime, and says the question is whether the recovery will be in “U” or “V”. 

The debt, which the country has “ignored for a lifetime”, will be a constraint for recovery. A “traditional Keynesian program” with the higher public investment will be necessary, he argues.