Friday, September 3rd | COVID-19 Daily Update
Data introduced today by the DGS indicate that, in the last 24 hours, 1,822 new cases of infection and six deaths associated with COVID-19 were registered in Portugal. According to the epidemiological bulletin, there are currently 1,044,144 confirmed cases and 17,772 deaths since the pandemic’s beginning. As for the recovered patients, 2,464 more were counted, making the total number grow to 983,063.
THE PANDEMIC IN PORTUGAL
On average, 12 people die each day in Portugal, 24 times fewer than at the end of January, when the country experienced the worst epidemic wave. With some fluctuations, mortality has remained low in the last five months, proving the protection afforded by vaccines. But it should not be expected that deaths from COVID-19 will disappear entirely. The daily bulletins will continuously show zero deaths: this would happen if the virus were eradicated entirely, which is not expected to happen. Doctors and other experts believe that it is time to slowly start to dilute the focus on numbers while monitoring the variants or losing sight of protecting the frail and the elderly.
In an interview, Graça Freitas does not hide that the cold months of the year have to be faced with “a lot of attention” and that it is necessary to control all the indicators of the pandemic. The director-general of Health said that a plan was already being prepared to face an eventual increase in cases of COVID-19 in Portugal and warned that autumn and winter were periods of “great challenges”. Concerning going back to school, the responsible is comfortable with the DGS directive, which does not distinguish what should be done with vaccinated or non-vaccinated students.
Meanwhile, the Government allocated 11.1 million euros to carry out a screening of COVID-19 aimed at the school community at the beginning of the school year.
About the culture sector, the Association of Promoters of Shows, Festivals and Events regrets that the increase in the capacity of cultural spaces to 75%, determined by the Government, is included in the DGS guidelines as applying only to seating positions.
THE PANDEMIC IN EUROPE AND THE WORLD
AstraZeneca and the EU reached an agreement on the supply of vaccines against COVID-19, which end legal proceedings initiated by the European bloc due to delivery delays. The drugmaker is thus committed to delivering an additional total of approximately 200 million doses by the end of the first quarter of 2022.
The WHO warned that 42 of the 54 African countries might not vaccinate 10% of the most vulnerable population against COVID-19 by the end of September. The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, explains that “the hoarding of vaccines” has delayed the continent. As more doses arrive, “make precise plans to vaccinate the millions of people quickly”.
Meanwhile, in Italy, Prime Minister Mario Draghi called anti-vaccines threatening or harass ministers, government officials, journalists and doctors “cowards”. Protests against the restrictive measures imposed have been recurrent and increased in tone since the Government implemented the health pass.
In turn, in Brussels, doctors at the hospital in Brugmann will prescribe visits to museums for patients who are being accompanied by stress to promote mental health, alleviating the symptoms of burnout and stress aggravated by the pandemic.
In Japan, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has announced that he will not stand in the elections to lead the Liberal Democratic Party, indicating that he will step down from his government post later this month. At this point, the strong criticism that Suga has faced regarding combating the coronavirus and the decision to hold the Olympic Games in the current pandemic context, ignoring public health concerns.
For its part, UNICEF has reported that North Korea has refused about three million doses of the vaccine against SARS CoV-2 manufactured in the People’s Republic of China, proposing that they be offered to countries most in need.
A group of researchers found seven drugs with the potential to block the spread of SARS-CoV-2. The study by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the University of São Paulo and published in the “Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics” used a technology called drug repositioning to select more than 11,000 drugs, detecting the seven with the greatest effectiveness in blocking and replicating the SARS-CoV-2 in infected cells. Scientists now want to test the efficacy of these drugs in vitro and later in human clinical trials.
Today, the Government and the social partners resumed the social concertation meetings with the discussion of the Decent Work Agenda proposal and the current status of the measures related to COVID-19 on the table.
Yesterday, the Council of Ministers determined that the balance accumulated by taxpayers through the IVAucher program will be returned to them in their bank account within a maximum period of two working days after payment. The prime minister also announced that more than five billion euros of the Recovery and Resilience Plan, equivalent to one third, are already contracted, “which is a good sign of collective mobilization for the execution of this fundamental plan for the whole parents”.
For now, ISEG economists project that GDP has grown between 3.5% and 4% in the third quarter, compared to the same period of the previous year, and between 1.7% and 2.2% concerning the last quarter. In the “Summary of August Outlook”, released today, the institution’s economic analysis group also improves its projection for the entire year to a range between 4% and 5%, which compares with 3.5% and 4. 5% previously projected.
After four days of straight gains, the Lisbon Stock Exchange started this morning’s session in a fall, retreating 0.23% to 5,492.91 points, with nine listed trading in the red. The same happened in Europe, with the European benchmark Eurostoxx 50 losing 0.31%. Among the leading European counterparts, the German DAX retreated 0.14%, the British FTSE 100 gave 0.04%, the French CAC 40 fell 0.37%, the Spanish IBEX 35 depreciated 0.10%. The Euro Stoxx 50 slipped 0.22%.