75% of Portugal’s ‘Covid hospital patients’ admitted for other reasons

A television interview with virologist Pedro Simas last night revealed that 75% of people admitted to hospitals and classified in official bulletins as suffering from Covid were actually admitted for other reasons entirely.

Mr Simas told SIC television news, the patients only tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 ‘a posteriori’ (meaning after admission).

The virologist has been something of a ‘beacon’ during the pandemic – calling for the relaxing of measures, and indeed testing, for some time (click here).

He was convinced, for example, of South Africa’s data pointing to the milder nature of Omicron long before this was accepted by other specialists.

Last night, he described authorities’ continued insistence on mass-testing in Portugal as being responsible for “almost creating a dystopian society” (defined by the study.com portal as a society that imposes “a harmful, oppressive and miserable existence on almost all its members”).

As a virologist, he believes the way forwards is to return “practically to normality”. Indeed, “we should have done this before: “open society, protect risk groups with booster shots every year” and accept that SARS-CoV-2 will continue to circulate, infecting us all.

The bonus of infection now, he stressed, is that whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, people will build up robust immunity – and natural immunity, following that of the immunity conferred by the vaccines, is the way forwards.

SARS-CoV-2 “will become part of our lives and to become infected, right now, has a very beneficial effect in the construction of natural immunity and the beginning of real endemic”, he said.

For the clip full of Pedro Simas’ latest interview click here.

As to his comments about hospital admissions, and how they have been skewed when it comes to official daily bulletins, the situation ties very much in with what has been happening in other countries.

In UK last week, health secretary Sajid Javid admitted that Covid death figures have been “too high because people are dying from conditions unrelated to the virus”.

Nearly half of Covid patients were admitted to hospitals “for other reasons”, the Telegraph reported earlier this month. Lisbon’s Santa Maria hospital has said much the same this week – and now Pedro Simas has intimated it could be even more than half.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com