COVID-19 | Weekly Update

November 19, 2021

Friday, November 19th | COVID-19 Daily Update

So far, the DGS has not yet communicated data on the proliferation of COVID-19 in Portugal for the last 24 hours. The most current figures show 1,115,080 cases in the country since the beginning of the pandemic, which resulted in 18,295 deaths and 1,055,650 recovered.


The growth rate of new cases of infection is high and led the Government to schedule a meeting with experts at Infarmed for today. On the table will be adopting some measures to stop the evolution of the disease to avoid a scenario of three thousand cases a day in December. Still, experts say it is not necessary to return to confinement.

According to specialist Henrique Barros, COVID-19 has seasonal characteristics, with two annual waves in winter and summer, and the winter wave is now starting.

Despite this, the Deputy Secretary of State and Health stated that the Government is prepared to respond to all scenarios that arise in hospitals during Christmas and New Year.

Yesterday, the DGS appealed to the Portuguese to maintain their confidence in the vaccine. Graça Freitas announced that people 18 years old or older, who received the Janssen vaccine, would receive a booster dose as long as they have passed at least 90 days after the initial vaccination.

In Madeira, the Regional Government announced that the archipelago entered into a contingency situation. Massive weekly testing of the population and mandatory use of a mask is among the new measures to curb the increase in COVID-19 cases. On the other hand, the Azores are not moving forward, for the time being, with further restrictive measures.


Austria has announced that it will enter confinement due to a record number of cases as of Monday. When several countries struggle to contain the fourth wave of COVID-19 on the European continent, teleworking and mandatory vaccination are measures that have already been adopted or studied in some countries.

Germany has already had to transfer patients with COVID-19 to neighbouring countries due to the worsening health situation, which led the country’s vaccination commission to recommend a third dose of vaccine for those over 18 years of age.

At the same time, the French President guaranteed that the country “does not need” new confinement, having put into circulation the sanitary pass that limits access to public spaces.

In China, Macau authorities announced today that the vaccination rate in the territory had reached 70%, a percentage that includes people inoculated with the first and second doses but which “remains low” among the elderly.


The operational development of the Portuguese vaccine project by Immunethep biotechnology has been stalled since July, awaiting funding from the State. The company needs funding of 20 million euros for the clinical trials phase.

However, an experimental treatment of AstraZeneca has shown an 83% reduction in the risk of developing symptomatic COVID-19 six months after taking the long-acting antibody combination.

A study of the effectiveness of public health measures argues that pandemic control depends on “continuous adherence” to non-pharmacological measures such as masks, hand washing and social distancing. The data indicate a benefit in reducing the incidence of infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Finally, an investigation, which included reconstructing the first weeks of the pandemic, assures that the virus will have an animal origin rather than appearing in the laboratory. Scientist Michael Worobey’s study places patients zero in the Wuhan market.


The five extraordinary measures implemented by the Government in 2020 to combat the effects of the pandemic crisis on the housing of the most precarious and poorest families are a failure, in the analysis made by the Court of Auditors.

Concerning TAP, still awaiting approval from Brussels of the restructuring plan, the Government decided to inject more than 150 million euros into the company due to the losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The president of the European Central Bank warned today that it is not advisable to “prematurely withdraw monetary stimulus in the Eurozone” because the current high inflation will decrease. Christine Lagarde added that when the pandemic emergency ends, “it will be important for monetary policy, including asset purchases, to support the recovery and the sustained return of inflation” to the 2% target.

As a result of the adoption of preventive measures in the context of combating the pandemic, the rail transport of passengers (-46%) and goods (-6%) retreated in 2020, in the European Union, compared to the previous year, with Portugal registering, respectively, the seventh (41.7%) and eighth (10%) biggest falls, according to Eurostat. The European statistics office also reports that household expenditures in the European Union fell 8% in 2020, an “unprecedented” drop due “to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

It should also be noted that Japan will adopt a stimulus package worth a record 430 billion euros to support the economic recovery of the third world economy, announced today by the Japanese Government.


In the middle of today’s session, the Portuguese stock exchange continued in negative territory, reversing the opening trend and in line with its European counterparts, with the anti-COVID-19 measures influencing the markets. The PSI-20 was down 0.42% to 5,801.56 points. Among the main European markets, the German DAX lost 0.28%, the French CAC 40 devalued 0.55%, the Spanish IBEX 35 retreated 1.47%, and the British FTSE 100 dropped 0.61%.

Yesterday, the main indices across the Atlantic ended uprising, except the Dow Jones. Tech gave a boost to Wall Street, where the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.45% to settle at 15,993.71 points, a record. Also, the S&P 500, which added 0.34% to 4,704.54 points, registered a value never before reached in a session closing.