The lockdown continues to produce results in Portugal. At a meeting between experts and political representatives on Monday (8), it was announced that the country continues with the lowest transmission rate (Rt) of the new coronavirus in Europe.
In the past 24 hours, the country – which has a population of around 10 million – has recorded 365 new infections. This is the lowest value since September 7, 2020.
“We continue to present the lowest Rt in Europe and with an incidence already close to 120 [novos casos] per 100,000 inhabitants, ”said epidemiologist Baltazar Nunes of the National Institute of Health, Dr Ricardo Jorge.
According to the expert, in the past 5 days, the SARS-CoV-2 transmissibility index was 0.74 across the country, except for the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.
The Rt indicates the rate of contagion of the virus and must be less than 1 for the number of cases to decline.
While emphasizing the good result, the epidemiologist said the rate of decline in contamination has slowed.
In the evaluation of André Peralta Santos, of the general directorate of health, vaccination is starting to show effects on the population over 80 years old, with a reduction in hospitalizations in intensive care. It is the group with the highest vaccination coverage to date in the country.
Also at the meeting, which took place in Lisbon at Infarmed (National Authority for Medicines and Health Products), experts said the country has suspected conditions since March 15.
The decommissioning plan is expected to be presented on March 11 by the government.
Portugal has been on lockdown since January 18. Initially, the government had adopted a kind of “soft lockdown”, with schools and universities open and several exceptions. The weak respect of the restrictions by the population put an end to the adoption, on January 22, of a very restricted confinement.
Containment bans staying in squares and parks in Portugal | Photo: Giuliana Miranda / Folhapress
After being cited as a good example of management during the first wave of the pandemic, Portugal saw the number of cases rise again in October. After some time under control, the situation deteriorated after the Christmas period, when the country relaxed measures that limited travel and built-up areas.
The result has been a widespread increase in cases and deaths. On January 28, the country reached its peak of new infections, with 16,432 new cases.
Under pressure, the Portuguese public health system, the NHS, was on the verge of collapse. The country ended up asking for international aid from other EU countries.
The lockdown, however, got things under control relatively well as early as the second week of February.
So far, Portugal has recorded 810,459 cases and 16,565 deaths from Covid-19.