COVID-19 | Weekly Update

December 26, 2020

Saturday, December 26th | COVID-19 Daily Update



Over the last 24 hours, 78 people died in Portugal and there are 1,214 new cases of COVID-19 infection. 

According to data released today in the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin, there are now a total of 392,996 confirmed cases in the country, with 6,556 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.  

As for the number of people who recovered from the disease, 1,545 cases were recorded, increasing the total to 316,671.



In his annual Christmas message, the Prime Minister thanked the Portuguese for their resilience and discipline, admitted mistakes in the management of the pandemic, looked at 2021, and said that the country will have the means to start a “sustained recovery” from the economic crisis, but also to face structural problems.

The first batch of the vaccine against COVID-19 arrived in Portugal today. For the Minister of Health, this is a “historic milestone”, an “important day after such a difficult year”. António Costa warns that “it is too early to let your guard down”. 

First-rate health professionals in the fight against the new coronavirus will begin to be vaccinated from tomorrow, at the start of a campaign that will extend into the coming year. However, the effects of immunity will still be months away, so 2021 will not be the end of the pandemic.

As of today, the Portuguese have available a portal dedicated to the vaccination process, which aims to clarify the population.

The president of the Ministry of Health Shared Services (SPMS) highlighted the responsiveness of the SNS 24 line in 2020 marked by the pandemic, with a number of answered calls exceeding 3.670 million. In turn, the Portuguese Association of Hospital Managers (APAH) estimates that Portugal may need approximately 900 trackers for epidemiological inquiries and follow-up of risk contacts for positive COVID-19 cases.



The pandemic has killed at least 1,750,780 people worldwide, according to news agency AFP. 

More than 79.7 million cases of infection have been officially diagnosed and at least 50.4 million people have been considered cured. 

Japan announced yesterday that it has five cases of the new coronavirus strain, first identified in the UK. 

France, which exceeded 20,000 infections yesterday, reported one case and Spain registered four. 

Meanwhile, Russia, which has already surpassed the three million cases of the new coronavirus, has made a two-week quarantine mandatory for arrivals from the United Kingdom. 

Today, the British authorities have reinforced with an additional contingent of 800 military personnel the teams that carry out tests on the coronavirus to the truck drivers of the still more than 4,000 trucks that are waiting for a travel order near Dover and other ports on the south coast of England.

The pandemic continues to grow in Europe. Yesterday, the UK recorded an additional 570 deaths and 32,725 new infections. 

In turn, Italy had another 459 deaths and 19,037 cases. The country has already received the first 10,000 doses of the vaccine, and the distribution will start soon.

The African Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the African Union announced today that a new variant of the coronavirus may have emerged in Nigeria, but warned that more research is needed.



The vaccine against COVID-19 developed by the Chinese Sinovac Biotech, called CoronaVac, showed an efficiency between 50% and 90% in the initial clinical tests that were carried out in Brazil. Thus, the first tests had the minimum percentage required by the Brazilian health regulator, Anvisa.

Emergency treatment is being tested for people who have been exposed to the new coronavirus. Ten people have already received this emergency treatment that is being produced by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. The clinical trial is taking place at University College London Hospitals. 

The forced confinement by the pandemic that stopped the world opened the door and accelerated mental health problems. In Canada, researchers concluded that insomnia increased by 24%, post-traumatic stress skyrocketed 22%, in addition to the growth of clinical depression (16%) and anxiety (15%).



About 90% of the Portuguese restaurants were closed at Christmas. Those in charge of the sector say that the pandemic caused 50,000 unemployed, a number that could reach 100,000 in the first quarter of 2021.  

On the other hand, COVID-19 did not stop expanding retail. Until the fall, around 200 stores were opened in the country – and for the next year, it seems, the pace should not slow down.

The pandemic reinforced permanent contracts and severely penalized those with temporary contracts. For 2021 there is uncertainty, but HR company Randstad foresees more fragile work links until the summer.


The Lisbon Stock Exchange lived an unusual year in 2020 due to the pandemic, but after the strong drops recorded mainly in March, its performance has improved, especially since October. 

One week before the end of the year, the Portuguese stock index PSI-20 accumulates annual losses of less than 9%, reaching a maximum of 5,435.88 points on February 19 and a minimum of 3,596.08 points a month later, on March 19th