Covid press conference cancelled as statistics point to new maximums

Friday’s habitual Covid press conference has been cancelled as statistics are being interpreted by the media as ‘new maximums’ in all the wrong departments.

Another high number of deaths (52, in the last 24-hours); another high number of new infections (5,500); more pressure on the nation’s hospitals (“25 new admissions” – that’s across the whole country, five less patients in ICUs).

The reason for the pulling of the press conference was given because health minister Marta Temido is on a visit to Porto.

This in itself doesn’t explain why she couldn’t be substituted by António Lacera Sales, for example – the under secretary of state for health who has frequently taken part as the ‘face of the government/ ministry’. But reports to allude to the criticism of the ‘strategy of health authorities’ communication’ by various personalities, President Marcelo included.

For now, the situation is that the latest figures are being presented as ‘another bad day’.

Again, little information is ever given when these figures first appear on ages/ pathologies of the victims, or indeed of the overall health of the ‘newly infected’.

However the health ministry website does carry a recent report in which it explains that 96% of all active cases are being ‘accompanied in their homes’ – meaning, they are in isolation and for all intents and purposes ‘recovering naturally’ (click here).

The number of recoveries in the last 24-hours has also shown some positivity: another 2,507 recoveries, bringing the nation’s total of people who have had the virus and ‘come out the other side’ as 91,453.

Active cases currently are: 67,157.

Nonetheless the message from the health minister in Porto – the area of the north most affected – is that the country must expect further ‘elevated numbers of dead’ over the next few days.

With all the reporting on Covid, it is easy to forget that every single day in Portugal – particularly at this time of year – between 250 – 300 people die (of various causes, many of them natural).