Photo: Twitter/antoniocostapm

New emergency measures in pipeline, claims tabloid

The government is already working on ‘new measures’ for the (so far) 121 boroughs most affected by the pandemic, claims tabloid Correio da Manhã today.

The paper that warned this ‘soft’ approach to removing people’s liberties threatened so much more (click here) claims that prime minister António Costa “recognises that the application of more specific restrictions could come to be justified”.

Thus “the prohibition of circulating beyond one’s borough (of residence) could return” – particularly, apparently, in relation to Paços de Ferreira in the north where the incidence of the virus is already affecting over 4,000 people in every 100,000 (the government’s limit for the purposes of extra restrictions is 240 per 100,000, or that proportion of a borough’s population).

Decisions will be taken at Thursday’s Council of Ministers, where CM claims “new boroughs are expected to enter” the ‘blacklist’ (click here).

Meantime, political parties are reinforcing their feelings about the new restrictions.

PCP communist leader Jerónimo de Sousa has classified them as “disproportionate, incongruous and inadequate”; PAN’s André Silva is concerned of their effects on “mental health and balance”; Iniciativa Liberal has accused the government of acting without scientific justification, while CHEGA’s André Ventura has taken the populist route claiming the restrictions will “bury” restaurants and local commerce in the areas affected, sending “millions of people into unemployment”.

The ‘feeling’ in the air today is of a government battling against the tide, in terms of the virus and popular public opinion.

PM António Costa has reacted, saying: “If we all get sick, there won’t be an SNS health service to help us” – the inference being that it would simply become ‘swamped’.

There is no point having the ‘illusion that this pandemic can be tackled without pain’, he told RTP radio this morning as he attended the ‘launching’ ceremony on works on a new hospital in Évora.