Saturday February 20 brings more heartwarming news as Portugal’s embattled health service starts to feel the results of five weeks in which the country has been in rigorous lockdown: 300 more people have left the country’s hospitals; 5,050 more have been pronounced ‘cured’ after testing positive for Covid-19; the active case count nationally is down to 83,526 – and numbers in ICUs are falling, albeit much too slowly.
Deaths in the last 24-hours totalled 76 (slightly up on yesterday’s tally). New infections however are ‘down’ to 1,570 (yesterday the total was 1,940).
Nonetheless there is a clear sign of things still being far from over in the number of new infections in the Algarve: they are not falling as they are in worse hit regions like Lisbon/ Vale do Tejo and the north.
On Thursday (showing data for February 17) the Algarve was showing +56 new infections (with next door Alentejo registering +59); the next day (with data for Thursday), the region registered +75 (with next door Alentejo showing only +49). And today, new infections are up by +84- with the Alentejo showing just +31.
From being fairly ‘neck and neck’ when it comes to registering new cases, the difference between the two southern regions is now quite clear – albeit that deaths in the Alentejo have been slightly higher (+16 in the last three days, as opposed to the Algarve’s +11).
The fact that new cases are increasing by the day in a region ostensibly under tight lockdown is another indicator to the reluctance of authorities to even talk about ‘deconfinement’.
On the wider front, the number of new cases in Lisbon/ Vale do Tejo is still roughly double the totals in the north (+770 versus +369).
Deaths too continue to be highest in the Lisbon areas (+36), followed by the north (+18), centre (+13), Alentejo (+6) and Algarve (+3).
The autonomous regions continue to follow their own pattern: the Azores doing unbelievably well (+3 new cases, no deaths); Madeira not so (+99 new cases, no deaths).
Yes, it’s another groundhog day, but a one at least that seems to be pointing the way to some kind of exit.
As national media remarked today, the number of patients in the country’s hospitals are 52% down on totals at the beginning of the month.
For today’s bulletin in full (click here)