Portugal’s latest Covid numbers show continued fall in number of new cases

Bit by bit, but fairly consistently, the number of new cases of Covid-19 registered in Portugal is coming down.

Today’s figures show another ‘drop’ in the thousands to 2,597 – one of the lowest totals for weeks.

Also ‘good news’ is that the numbers of people recovering from the virus again exceed the number of new cases. The tally for the last 24-hours is 2,788, bringing the total number of active cases down again, if only by 269.

Not such good news is the fact that hospital admissions for complications from the virus are still much too high: in the last 24 hours another 99 people have been admitted to hospital for treatment. ICUs are running currently with 513.

The number of deaths too (78) has remained ‘high’ as forecasters have intimated it will for some time yet.

Deaths nonetheless are just a fraction of the average daily death toll, which in the winter is often around the 300 per day mark.

As the country heard from the prime minister on Saturday, authorities will now be watching the evolution of the pandemic in Portugal closely until December 18 before categorically signing off the plan to open the country up slightly for Christmas and New Year (click here). Any spike in the number of new infections, or worsening of the situation in hospitals, could see the picture of the festive season radically altered.

Taking questions from journalists after his announcement on Saturday, PM António Costa did suggest that measures to control the virus, like the wearing of masks, physical distancing and even restrictions on commerce and mobility could stay in place until 60% to 70% of the country had been vaccinated.

As to the pharmaceutical companies behind the first vaccines due to arrive in Portugal in the New Year, BioNTech (teamed up with Pfizer) is enjoying a share value leap of 258% while Moderna (the next vaccine due to be rolled out) has seen its shares increase by 410%.