“More and more young people in Portugal admitted to hospital with Covid”

There are now ‘more and more young people admitted to hospital with Covid’ than there have been previously.

Specialists heard by Público say that while seniors represent “the largest group of all those admitted onto Covid wards, the percentage of younger patients is increasing in all age-groups, from early 30s to late 70s”.

Just in patients up to the age of 40, for example, hospital admissions have increased 188% during the month of January. In people aged between 20-39, they have tripled from 58 (pre-January) to 186, writes Observador online.

So what is happening, the paper asks. Answers are not ‘100% closed’, it says – clearly not prepared to consider the spread of the British variant since Christmas, which has been proved to be at least 50% more transmissible (click here).

According to Observador there are various ‘hypotheses’: one, “fairly unanimous among doctors consulted by Público and Jornal de Notícias, is that with the generalised increase in the number of people infected by the virus, it’s natural that there would be more younger patients than there was during the first wave”.

Whatever the reason, it’s important that people start to realise that young, or at least younger, people can develop bad reactions to infection by SARS-CoV-2, and when they do, their general state of health can deteriorate “very badly”. Infectious disease specialist Margarida Tavares told JN that the process of recovery for younger patients can take “a long time”.

This new twist in Portugal’s ongoing battle against Covid-19 comes as the latest bulletin brings more positive news: the number of new infections is down by more than half of those registered a week ago; hospital admissions are down, as are numbers in ICUs. Deaths today stand at 225 in the last 24-hour period. 

New infections nonetheless are still running ‘high’ considering the country is in lockdown.

Lisbon/ Vale do Tejo (where the British variant was first flagged) is showing almost 4,000 new infections (3,993) with 119 deaths. 

The north comes next with 1,788 new infections and 41 deaths, followed by the centre (1,118 new infections, 38 deaths), the Algarve (387 new infections, 4 deaths) and the Alentejo (343 new infections, 20 deaths).

Azores and Madeira have both registered deaths (which have been rare on the islands), with Madeira showing transmission is still running high (+264 new cases).

Slowly however the dire national picture – recently splashed over the international press – is improving.

Prime minister António Costa tweeted yesterday: “With the extraordinary effort of our health professionals we have managed to face the most critical phase of the pandemic. Confinement is beginning to produce results, and vaccination is going to create immunity”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com