The long-awaited meeting between the government and the medical advisors who have been leading response through the pandemic has been scheduled for Wednesday morning, and is expected to see a number of current daily Covid-led restrictions and measures ‘fall’.
Thanks to the overall ‘softening’ of the virus; the drop in numbers in hospital and decrease in the deaths, it seems likely that authorities’ approach will change radically.
Talking on SIC television news last night, commentator and State advisor Luís Marques Mendes said testing would move to focus only on people with symptoms; anyone testing positive but otherwise asymptomatic would be allowed to continue with their lives as normal and that the daily DGS ‘bulletins’ would come to a halt.
Later in the evening, two of the habitual advisors taking part in meetings with the government at Infarmed medicines authority headquarters in Lisbon stressed that by the end of this month the country should be back to ‘level green’ in terms of risk.
According to pneumologist Filipe Froes this means mask wearing in public will largely be unnecessary, although it “should remain” for hospital visits; visits to old people’s homes and in enclosed public spaces.
Basically, the consensus is that SARS-CoV-2 has now become ‘endemic’, and that we all have to learn to live with the virus – albeit for various reasons the word ‘pandemic’ is going to remain with us for a few more months to come.
What both experts stressed however is that ‘when this is all behind us’, a REAL number-count of victims has to be reached: the red-hot question of ‘how many died WITH Covid-19, but not as a direct result of it’.
This has been a bone of contention for months now, in other countries as well, as it has become increasingly obvious that many deaths attributed to the virus were not directly caused by it.
Nonetheless, prime minister António Costa has warned that no-one should be complacent about catching Covid-19.
He himself has just come out of isolation after contracting the virus during the election campaign (although he is fully-vaccinated), and says despite having suffered minimal symptoms, the level of tiredness he experienced was “extremely elevated. And today I do not feel recovered (sufficiently) to run eight kilometers”, he added – which, it has to be said, is not something citizens have been aware that he ever did on any kind of regular basis.
Wednesday’s meeting is expected to be ‘based’, as has been habitual, at Infarmed’s HQ but a number of those attending will be doing so ‘virtually’.