Only 0.6% of people infected with Covid-19 in Portugal have been hospitalised

With daily press briefings still ongoing over the epidemiological situation in Portugal, the truth is that only 0.6% of people infected with Covid-19 in Portugal have been hospitalised.

It’s “a minority”, insists health minister Marta Temido – and may start to get the message through that being ‘infected’ with the virus is not perhaps as worrying as people initially believed.

Yesterday’s press conference detailed the 154 active outbreaks in the country right now: 60 in the north, six in the centre, 66 in the Lisbon/ Vale do Tejo area, 10 in the Alentejo and 12 in the Algarve.

Said Ms Temido, of all the people who have been infected so far, 73.2% have recovered, 23% are at home (ostensibly recovering) and 0.6% have been hospitalised.

The global lethality rate is 3.2% but this rises to 15.4% in people over the age of 70.

The number of people infected per 100,000 inhabitants has been 15.3 over the last seven days, with the RT (transmission) level hitting 1 for the period August 17-21.

Case numbers too have risen recently but Ms Temido said she suspects this has to do with a delay in the process of reporting more than any marked worsening of the situation.

Whatever the reason, she said the increase “underlines the fragility of our conquests”.

Bottom line: precautions must continue.

Giving much the same message earlier today, António Sarmento, director of the infectious diseases department at Porto’s São João Hospital, said he is “convinced that we won’t have the second wave that people have been talking about” but that doesn’t mean the country can rest on any laurels.

Chronic underfunding of the SNS health service needs to be addressed, he told SIC television news, so that the country is fully prepared for whatever comes next.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com