Portugal’s Wednesday bulletin is being characteristically highlighted for all the ‘bad news’. But one positive coming out of it is that the last 24-hours have seen 4,451 people recover after testing positive for the virus.
On the basis that many of these won’t even have been ill, it shows how this virus – as easily transmissible as it is – is helping power the race towards herd immunity.
With the vaccination programme already leading the way in Europe, Portugal is still very much on target to attain herd immunity in August.
Nonetheless, today’s ‘results’ otherwise did not read well: the number of new infections is still riding high (though at 4,376 not as high as recoveries) and deaths have hit double digits for the first time in months.
The bulletins do not specify ages.
Last night, SIC television described two of the Tuesday bulletin’s fatalities as ‘over the age of 60, the rest over the age of 80′ – again showing that some of these deaths will have been in fully-vaccinated individuals.
Today’s victims once again come without any background information. It may be given later this evening on the 8pm news (update 8.15pm: 12 of victims over age of 70, one in his 40s). All we know for certain is that there have been 13 deaths in the last 24 hours.
Again, this information is presented as ‘dire’ when there will have been scores of other deaths today from other causes.
As doctors pointed out last week, Covid-19 is not the principal cause of death in Portugal (click here).
There are no daily bulletins for people who are diagnosed with advanced stages of cancer, or heart disease, who are hospitalised, who go on to die. We have become a nation fixated on a respiratory virus that leaves the vast majority of the people it ‘infects’ perfectly healthy.
Put another way, of the 939,622 people in Portugal ‘diagnosed with Covid-19’ since the start of the pandemic, 870,243 have recovered. Some will still be coping with the effects of ‘long Covid’, but most will be completely back to their previous selves.
Those kind of statistics would be considered inspirational if the 939,622 people had been diagnosed with most forms of cancer.