Azores with ‘no cases, no deaths’ in Friday’s Covid bulletin

Today’s Covid bulletin is an absolute winner for the Azores: no new cases, no deaths in the last 24-hours.

The archipelago has been Portugal’s poster-child throughout the pandemic, operating strict entry restrictions throughout the summer (when the mainland wasn’t).

Today’s result reflects that rigor which the autonomous region of Madeira, for example, has also tried to operate but without quite the same results.

The number of new cases for Madeira is up (again), from yesterday’s 106 to 163.

The Algarve also has done ‘brilliantly’ with only 9 new cases (as opposed to Alentejo’s 36, Lisbon Vale do Tejo’s 436 – and the north and centre on 192 and 118 new cases respectively).

Nationally, the virus panorama is ‘very positive’: hospital numbers are down to 1,583 (dropping another 125 patients in the last 24-hours). ICU’s have shown another fall (-16 patients) to 383.

While 28 deaths were registered, 1,606 more people deemed to have been infected have now recovered.

Says Expresso, this has been the 6th day running with the number of new cases coming in under 1,000. Today’s ‘grand total’ was 949, slightly up on yesterday’s tally of 830. Indeed increases in terms of case numbers were recorded in all areas, other than the Azores and the Algarve.

These numbers come in as Portugal prepares for yet another weekend where citizens are ‘confined to their boroughs’, with any businesses operating that aren’t food-related forced closing at 1pm and supermarkets and corner shops closing on Saturday and Sunday at 5pm.

Next week (Thursday) will see prime minister António Costa announce the government’s slow plan for deconfinement – which as yet has no start date.