Marcelo expected to extend Portugal’s State of Emergency to January 7

President Marcelo will be addressing the nation this evening at 8pm to extend the State of Emergency. Everything points to an extension to January 7. This is legally ‘unusual’, in that State of Emergency are only set to run for 14-day periods, but with Christmas and New on the horizon all parties have agreed it makes the most logistical sense.

That’s not to say that all parties agree with the State of Emergency – far from it. In the last vote in parliament only PS and PSD were in favour; Bloco de Esquerda, CDS-PP and PAN abstained and PCP, Chega and Iniciativa Liberal voted against.

But knowing they will be outnumbered, the parties have accepted that a longer State of Emergency may as well straddle the festive period, when parliament won’t be sitting to further voting.

President Marcelo is understood to be considering opinions on relieving certain measures over the holidays. It may be for instance that families aren’t limited to remaining within their boroughs of residence. We will have to wait to hear, possibly from the prime minister or one of his ministers, who is expected to lay out all the measures for the Christmas season tomorrow at 3pm.

But in the wider context, warnings of any kind of relaxation are already being sounded by authorities throughout Europe, all of them predicting a spike in the number of infections in January whatever happens.

Here, the level of infections continues apace. Latest numbers have registered almost 5,000 new cases and a further 79 deaths.

Broken down, the pattern remains as always: deaths mainly in the older generation with compound morbidities, and the highest numbers of cases in the north.

A full picture can be seen here.

The Algarve registered two deaths in one day earlier this week – and the description of these deaths typified the messaging that has left many people bemused by data presentation in this crisis.

One of the victims was an 84-year-old from Lagos; the other a person of unspecified age who had been interned in hospital for other reasons and who, after death, tested positive for Covid.

It’s details like this that have led to so many people querying official numbers, on top of the issue of ‘debatable’ Covid PCR test reliability (click here).

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