COVID-19 | Weekly Update

October 9, 2020

Friday, October 9th | COVID-19 Daily Update



Today, 1,394 new cases of infection with the new coronavirus (most of them in the North region) and 12 deaths in Portugal were reported in the last 24 hours.  

This is the second-highest number of new infections in Portugal since the beginning of the pandemic. We need to go back to last April to find an even higher number.

Another figure that is also rising at a steady pace is the number of COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized: 811, 125 of them in intensive care units. Beatriz Angelo Hospital in Loures, Lisbon Area, has already hit its full capacity.

According to the Portuguese General Directorate of Health (DGS) epidemiological bulletin, there are now a total of 83,928 confirmed cases in the country, with 2,062 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. A further 647 people recovered were also registered, with a total of 52,164 now free from COVID-19.



The Government will evaluate next week the measures that may be necessary to face the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country. The Minister of State and the Presidency revealed, however, that efforts will always be made to avoid “a scenario of total and widespread confinement” as experienced last spring. 

Today, while visiting Braga, the President of the Republic did not want to dramatize the situation, but he also opened the door to the application of more restrictive measures as of October 15th.

According to the first flu epidemiological surveillance bulletin, released yesterday by the Portuguese National Institute of Health (INSA), in the last days of September and in the first of October the number of medical appointments related to COVID-19 soared in health centres to the numbers recorded at the peak of the pandemic, in late March and early April.

INEM (Portuguese Medical Emergency) data reveal that the institute saw its activity in the context of the response to the pandemic increase in the first week of October. 

The president of APAH, the association of hospital managers revealed yesterday that the lack of coordination between health units has not yet been overcome. In turn, the president of the Lisbon and Tagus Valley regional health authority admitted that the Loures and Amadora hospitals “are under great pressure”.

The General Directorate of Schools is preparing a platform to gather information about COVID-19 in learning facilities. However, the data will not be made available for public consultation.

Meanwhile, the Portuguese Teachers Federation (Fenprof) claims that the number of schools in Portugal with at least one case of infection (over 100) is much higher than the one announced by the DGS.



The World Health Organization (WHO) reported yesterday a daily record increase in global cases of infection with the new coronavirus, with the total increasing to 338,779 in 24 hours. This rise was mainly powered by an increase in the infection rate in Europe, which reported 96,996 new cases.

Yesterday there were worrying increases in COVID cases in Spain and the United Kingdom – another 12,423 and 17,540 new infections, respectively. 

In Spain, a quarter of the new cases occurred in the Madrid region and, for this reason, the Government of the country has today declared a state of emergency for the capital city. 

The level of contagion is also rising at a galloping pace in France, where six more cities will be put in the high alert zone tomorrow. 

Lothar Wieler, director of the Robert Koch Institute, warned that the pandemic could pick up the pace and spread “uncontrollably” in the coming weeks, especially in Germany. The progression in the country during this week has been described as “alarming”. 

The Kremlin yesterday admitted “great concern” about the increase in coronavirus cases in Russia, which registered close to 11,500 new infections in 24 hours.

In the U.S., Regeneron, owner of the drug President Donald Trump was treated with, requested authorization to make the therapy available to the entire population.



The European Medicines Agency has decided to start evaluating the first vaccine data for Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccines, even without the processes being completed, but ensures that it will only issue an approval when efficacy and safety are demonstrated.

China today announced the entry into COVAX, the global platform for the development of vaccines against COVID-19, and promised to give priority to developing countries in accessing these products. 

A new study released yesterday confirms that the antiviral remdesivir can shorten the duration of the presence of the new coronavirus, thus reducing the impact on mortality. 

Other studies in the United States and Canada state that, three months after infection with SARS-CoV-2, patients still have antibodies to the new coronavirus in their blood and saliva. 

In Japan, a team of researchers concluded that this virus can survive more than nine hours on human skin if not removed.



Exports and imports of goods decreased by 1.4% and 11.6%, respectively, in August, according to data released today by INE (Portuguese Bureau of Statistics). 

The trade deficit in goods decreased by 575 million euros compared to the same month of 2019, reaching 1,048 million in August. According to the same source, production in construction contracted 3.2% in August. 

According to a UTAO (Technical unit supporting Portuguese Members of the Parliament on budgetary issues) report, Portuguese public debt increased by 8.4 billion euros between the end of the first half of 2019 and that of 2020, but interest expense decreased.  

The BdP (Bank of Portugal) indicated that the economy had a financing capacity of 0.8% of the GDP at the end of the second quarter of this year. 

The Public Finance Council, on the other hand, revealed that the general government budget balance recorded a deficit of 5,240 million euros in the first half of the year and that the debt increased to 126.1% of the GDP. These conclusions already reflect the impact of mitigating measures to respond to the pandemic crisis.

Data from the Ministry of Labor indicate that support for the recovery of companies currently covers 10,000 companies, comprising a total of 82,000 workers. Of these, 47,000 workers will be able to reduce normal working hours “up to 100%”. 

Today, the BdP governor stressed the importance of international cooperation between central banks in mitigating the negative impacts caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Negotiations between the European Parliament and the Council on the EU’s long-term budget were suspended yesterday. The European Parliament representatives, who have the final say, criticized the lack of “viable proposals”.

In the UK, the economy has shown signs of a comeback, although the recovery in August has slowed dramatically, partly due to the increase in COVID-19 infections.

A study released yesterday indicates that the lower middle class in Brazil increased to 133.5 million people, or 63% of the country’s population, due to government subsidies to respond to the pandemic. 

On the same day, the World Bank estimated that the African economy is expected to come out of the 3.3% economic recession this year and to grow by 2.1% next year and by 3.2% in 2022.



The Portuguese stock exchange opened today higher, with the PSI-20 index appreciating 0.19%, to 4,230.38 points. 

Contributing to the positive performance were nine listed in green, against six in red and three unchanged. 

This morning, European stock exchanges, except for Milan, followed the trend recorded yesterday on Wall Street, which ended with a surge in optimistic investors, albeit cautious, in the face of the possible approval of new fiscal stimulus measures by the US Congress.