New Year’s Day has seen health authorities report the deaths of another 66 people with Covid-19, while the number of new infections came to 6,951.
This is the second day running with such a ‘leap’ in the number of new infections (click here).
The pandemic has now been cited as the cause for 6,972 deaths, and 420,629 cases of infection.
Today’s total of ‘active cases’ is nudging 75,000 (74,989), which represents another 2,493 since the previous day.
Recoveries continue robust (+4,392), and though media reports focus on the negative aspects of Portugal’s epidemic, it has to be said that numbers in hospital are not rising.
Covid patients generally are down to 2,806, with less than 500 in ICUs (the numbers in ICUs recently had been running over 500).
The full picture can be seen here.
The problem is however that every increase in numbers infected with the virus creates the risk that more people could become seriously ill.
If this is the ‘new variant’ at work, there have been suggestions that this causes milder symptoms (generally). But this doesn’t appear to be the situation in countries like UK where hospitals are described as “under extreme pressure”.
Regarding the new infections, they are continuing to follow the ‘pattern’ – most in the north and Lisbon areas (+2,745 and +2,131 respectively), followed by the central region (+1,474), Alentejo (+308) and then Algarve (+199).
Azores and Madeira are in much stronger positions, with comparatively few new infections (+53 and +41 respectively).
Again, as is habitual with this virus, the majority of deaths occurred in patients over the age of 80, followed by those over the age of 70.
The majority of new infections meantime are in younger age groups (20 – 59 year olds) – almost all of which, in Portugal at least, seem to recover.
The syndrome known as ‘long Covid’ has not received much attention in Portugal, suggesting there aren’t many people suffering this consequence of infection.
The numbers of new infections may start to tail off as a result of the current ‘New Year lockdown’, which began at 11pm last night and will see the whole country confined to their homes from 1pm to 5am the next day for the rest of this weekend.
Monday January 4 will see the lockdown lifted, and boroughs returning to the restrictions that were in place previously.
President Marcelo meantime will be meeting with political parties to discuss the renewal of the current State of Emergency, which comes to an end on January 7.
It is understood he is likely to call for a week-long renewal, to give time for data gathered over the festive season to be properly collated.