New cases up – but numbers in Portuguese hospitals continue to fall

Today’s Covid bulletin is being described as showing ‘the highest number of new cases for the last two weeks’. But it could also be a reflection of the ‘weekend effect’, which reduces case-number reports over Mondays and Tuesdays.

Whatever the reason, the overall picture is of more people recovering still than new cases reported, numbers in hospitals continuing to reduce – and even ‘incidences’ (the number of cases per 100,000) reducing.

In other words, the rising Rt (which experts predicted always said would happen is not the be-all-and-end-all).

Taking it from the top, Portugal has suffered another three deaths of people with Covid-19 and registered another 673 new cases, while 717 people have been deemed ‘recovered’ following positive tests for the virus, and nationally numbers with active infections have dropped another 92 people to 26,664.

On the basis that Portugal has 10.2 million people, the percentage now ‘infected’ is less than 0.2.

However, thanks to the ‘increase’ in the number of new cases, the country’s Rt number has inched up to 0.94.

As has been constantly explained, an Rt of 1 is one of the government’s major red-lines. But it’s not on its own reason enough to stop the slow process of deconfinement.

Lisbon and the north are still ‘leading’ when it comes to transmission (both registering over 200 new cases in the last 24-hours); the Algarve too has gone from just +4 cases reported in yesterday’s bulletin, to +35 today.

The trajectory of transmission will become clearer by the end of the week in which large sections of the country are ‘on holidays’ – and families and friends, in spite of government guidance, have come together (click here).

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