EPA/ANTONIO COTRIM

Another slight increase in Portugal’s Covid hospital numbers

Exactly a week since Portugal started reopening slowly for business, Covid numbers generally are staying well within the ‘safety limits’.

Today’s bulletin recorded another 16 deaths since yesterday and 248 new cases. This last number is roughly 200 new cases below the total given in Sunday’s bulletin, and may not be totally representative bearing in mind it refers to a day at the weekend when less tests are performed.

But what today’s bulletin does show, in terms of people in hospital with Covid-19, is another increase (albeit very slight: just six patients, in general wards). 

ICUs have dropped a further five patients, having consistently shed patients since February.

For general wards however, it is the first time in the month of March that hospital internments have increased on two consecutive days. Up till today, numbers generally had been falling.

As for the Rt rate and numbers of infected people per 100,000 – both key indicators for the government to consider before the country opens up further after Easter – these remain within the criteria set by experts.

The Rt rate for the mainland now is 0.88 (0.89 if one takes the autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores into account). The number of people infected per 100,000 is 70.3 (mainland), 81.3 for the Portuguese territory as a whole, including Madeira and Azores. The government’s ‘red lines’ for these values are an Rt rate over 1, and more than 120 cases per 100,000 over a 14-day average.

There are now very few ‘boroughs of high risk’ (ie where the number of cases exceeds 240 per 100,000) but Alcoutim, in the Algarve, is one of them with a cumulative incidence rate of between 480-959,9 cases per 100,000.

Otherwise the rest of the Algarve is well within acceptable criteria, with the last 24-hours seeing no deaths from Covid-19 recorded, and only +44 new cases.

Leading the field for new cases, as has become habitual since late December, has been Lisbon/ Vale do Tejo. It is also the region where the most deaths have been recorded: 12 since yesterday’s bulletin.

Taking the country as a whole, active infections are down to 33,120 – a drop of 323 in the last 24-hours thanks to 555 positive cases now deemed to have recovered.

In total 817,778 cases of positive Covid infections have been recorded in Portugal since the start of the pandemic, with 16,784 deaths attributed to the virus. As a percentage it continues to show that of all those who become infected, 2% (to be exact 2.05%) go on to die.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com