The white spot is the position of the country as of today

Into the maroon – Covid risk matrix once again ‘threatened’

The rising number of SARS-CoV-2 infections (the vast majority of them completely benign) has taken Portugal’s risk matrix to new territory – threatening its make-up for a second time.

After Delta required a new tier to take into account the skyrocketing infections the variant brought, Omicron looks to doing ‘more of the same’.

The current position, so deep into maroon that the cursor has almost disappeared, follows yet another day with very high infection rates (and this is a Monday).

If today’s numbers (10,554 new infections) are following the general rule (Monday’s see a low number of new infections due to weekend testing levels being reduced), then tomorrow’s will almost certainly take the cursor right off the board (requiring another tier to be added).

Numbers in hospitals too have risen, but not to the point that they are threatening pre-established ‘health authority red lines’.

Over New Year, the mainland’s Rt (transmission) number rose from 1.35 to 1.43 – translating into 1,817.3 cases per 100,000.

Lisbon and Vale do Tejo has been responsible for 4,328 new infections in the last 24 hours, followed by the north (4,025), centre (925), Madeira (636), Algarve (273), Alentejo (216) and finally Azores (151).

Deaths in the last 24-hours have been within the general pattern of between 10-20 per day (today’s number being 10).

As virologist Pedro Simas explained last month, these totals are well within normal daily death tolls for winter flu, indeed, they are not even on the high side (click here).