COVID-19 | Daily Update

May 20, 2020

Wednesday, May 20th | COVID-19 Daily Update



In Portugal, 16 more deaths and 228 new people infected with COVID-19 were registered in the last 24 hours, according to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin. 

The data revealed shows that the number of fatalities went from 1,247 to 1,263 (+1.28%), while confirmed cases increased from 29,432 to 29,660 (+0.78%).

There are now 6,452 people who have recovered from the infection, 21 more than yesterday (+0.33%).

For the first time since last March, Portugal has less than 100 persons hospitalized in intensive care units due to COVID-19



On the second day with the restaurants open, António Costa went back to lunch to show that it is safe to go to shops and restaurants, as long as the necessary precautions are taken. 

The Prime Minister further confirms, after the guarantee given by President Emmanuel Macron, that emigrants who come to Portugal and return to France after the holidays will not need to be quarantined.

The DGS today published guidance for those working in public transport and those using them, extending directions to taxis and TVDE (Uber and similar).

It is now known that, until April, primary care had lost more than 800 thousand medical appointments compared to the same period of 2019. In hospitals, 540 thousand medical appointments and 51 thousand surgeries were not performed. 

By the way, the Minister of Health says that the NHS has reinvented itself in these three months of the pandemic and passed one of the worst tests of its history.

Marta Temido assumes that resuming medical appointments, medical exams, and previously suspended surgeries is a priority that is still being applied slowly and warns that a “reconfiguration” may be necessary. 

There is also information that, since Monday, “people’s movements for the enjoyment of moments in the open air have been possible, namely in parks, by the seaside, on sidewalks, on the beaches, even if for bathing, or similar”.


On a continent that two months ago was the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, countries are gradually relaxing measures of social detachment – the most affected in Europe, Spain, and Italy, have done so this week.  

On the other hand, in Brazil, there was the highest number of daily deaths (1,179) and 17,000 new cases in just one day – being now the third country with the highest number of infected people. 

First place in the USA, with more than 1,500 deaths registered in the last 24 hours.

Russia, on the other hand, had 135 deaths in the same period, a record, but for the first time, the number of sick people decreased in the country.

The North-American President is considering banning flights from Brazil, because he does not want people to infect his people, stressing that he is helping the country with ventilators. 

The UN secretary-general asked the international community for support to Africa of around 182 billion euros due to the extreme difficulties regarding COVID-19.

In the recommendations, António Guterres called for “an international mobilization to strengthen health systems in Africa, to maintain food chains, and avoid a financial crisis”.



A team of researchers from Portugal and Israel is looking for a candidate for a nanovaccine for COVID-19.

Researchers hope to have it ready for testing on people in two years at the latest. 

Also in Israel, new research carried out by researchers at the Shamir Medical Center found that those who received the BCG vaccine in childhood do not have higher protection against COVID-19 disease.



The European Commission (EC) today issues its recommendations in the framework of the “European semester” of economic policy coordination, this year with guidelines at 27 on how to overcome the unprecedented crisis caused by COVID-19. 

In Portugal, there are 2.4 million euros less in profits to four of the largest banks in the country.

And, according to the INE (Portuguese Statistics Bureau), the interest rates implicit in housing loans fell again in April this year, after a slight increase in March, and remained thus below the level of 1%. 

While the number of unemployed enrolled in the IEFP (Employment Agency) soared by more than 22% in April, compared to the same period last year. According to the data released today, the number of unemployed registered in Portugal rose to 392,323. 

Cohesion Minister Ana Abrunhosa said, in an interview, that there were more than 3,500 microenterprises and SMEs that have already applied for support to adjust to the rules imposed by the deconfinement. 

Aircraft engine maker Rolls-Royce will cut “at least” nine thousand jobs because of the drop in air connections and the consequent crisis in the airline industry caused by the pandemic.



The Lisbon Stock Exchange opened today in negative territory with the main index, the PSI-20, falling 0.60%, to 4,156.55 points.

The main European exchanges were also trading down today, penalized by the losses on Wall Street yesterday, after optimism about a vaccine for the new coronavirus had been stopped.

IGCP (Institute that manages public debt) held a double short-term debt auction, placing a total of 1.75 billion euros, a value well above the usual.