In many ways today is another ‘black day’ when it comes to numbers: another 40,090 new cases of Covid infection; a leap in the daily death toll to 34 (the highest number since last March) and incidence so high that it is almost off the official scale (see image above).
Lisbon has the highest regional incidence of infections: seeing over 5,000 per 100,000 of population.
Schools and other public services are being affected by staff absences (due to fully-vaccinated workers having to go into isolation); well over a quarter of a million citizens are isolating in their homes – and the black market in Covid Digital Certificates is apparently booming (see below).
With the cold weather really beginning to bite, what positive aspects can be found in today’s DGS bulletin?
The first perhaps is that numbers in hospitals have not increased over the last 24-hours. The second is that Rt (transmission) appears to be falling. It is now down to 1.19 – and has been steadily falling since January 5. This suggests the ‘galloping wave’ is slowing.
The DGS daily bulletins are informative in many ways, but what they never explain is the age and/ or comorbidities and general condition of the country’s fatalities.
The mere fact that we are not told these were ‘young, active people with their whole lives ahead of them’ and families depending on them is almost certainly because they weren’t. But it would still be helpful to understand who is dying as a result of Covid infections, and what exactly their vaccination status was (bearing in mind the elderly in Portugal are by and large almost 100% vaccinated).
The Ordem dos Médicos has called for this information to start being made available, but so far this aspect of Portugal’s epidemic has been kept firmly under wraps.
Meantime the booster campaign continues apace (or at least we are led to believe it does).
A reader writing in to us today, from near Lisbon, told us the advice from his local vaccination post was “don’t accept the booster now. Come back in three months. By then we might have a real (non-mRNA) vaccine…”
Lusa has also reported today Covid-19 accounted for 9.6% of deaths in Portugal during 2021.
Omicron “reanimates black market in Covid Digital Certificates”
Check Point Research (specialists in cyber threats) have warned today that Omicron is powering renewed interest and demand for black market Covid Digital Certificates.
People are apparently paying anything from €175 to €525 for falsified tests and vaccination certificates – not just in Portugal (where demand apparently has leapt 600%) but all over the vaccine-regulated world.
There are groups openly available on various online platforms specialising in faked certificates.
CPR is calling on governments to ‘come together and combat the tendency’, reports ECO online.