Surreal scenes in Lisbon only nine days ago... JOSE SENA GOULAO/LUSA

Active cases in Portugal ‘increasing’: did football melée outside Alvalade stadium contribute?

Today’s Covid bulletin shows very much what experts feared after the extraordinary scenes that played out in Lisbon on May 11 when Sporting faced Boavista for the Premier League title (click here).

Within a week of that surreal evening when thousands mixed, many without masks or any form of physical distancing, case numbers in Lisbon started rising.

However, case numbers in the north are rising just as quickly. Today’s ‘three figure totals (159 for Lisbon, 178 for the north) are far ahead of the double digits of the rest of Portuguese territory. The Alentejo, for instance, has just 10 new cases flagged in the last 24-hours; Algarve 18.

Given that ‘cases’ per se do not mean a great deal unless they translate into serious illness, it is important to note that hospital numbers are still falling, and close to seeing less than 200 people being treated nationally for the worst symptoms of Covid-19.

Intensive care units are down to treating just 58 patients.

In other words, the active case count may have increased, but the red lines set by experts are still a long way off.

Thursday’s bulletin has recorded 451 new cases, one death and 346 recoveries.

Since the start of the pandemic, Portugal has recorded a total of 843,729 cases of Covid-19, 17,014 of which have been fatal. This translates into an overall 2% rate of fatality, although roughly 96.4% of all deaths have been in the over-60s – age-groups now protected by the country’s vaccination rollout.

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