PM sets out ‘five fundamental steps’ to help stem increase in infections

Prime minister António Costa has set out five fundamental steps which he believes will help stem the exponential increase in new coronavirus infections.

His intervention came after an urgent meeting of the crisis cabinet to discuss the situation – a microcosm of what is happening throughout Europe.

Countries east to west are dealing with ‘spikes’ in numbers, formulating planes for the autumn and instigating new lockdowns.

But Mr Costa has been clear: Portugal CANNOT accept a new lockdown – certainly not a nationwide one. Thus the way ahead, he stresses, has to be:

● Use of masks
● Regular disinfection of hands
● Respect for respiratory etiquette
● Physical distancing
● Use of StayAway Covid App (smartphone track and trace technology click here)

On a day when new cases nudged towards 800, Mr Costa said if things remain as they are now, we will be seeing case increases next week tipping 1,000 a day.

Control of the pandemic remains in the hands of each one of us, he stressed – though so far the increase in numbers is not being reflected in hospital admissions.

Concerns obviously are that this could change, and much too quickly given the approach of colder weather.

Foreign governments are already talking of ‘coming down hard’ to ‘save Christmas’.

Spain is said to be ready to impose draconian measures as the number of cases per 100,000 has suddenly reached 260 – with 659 people per 100,000 testing positive in Madrid – while Israel is what national media is calling “the first rich country” to impose a second nationwide lockdown.

For now, the closing of the borders with Spain has not moved ahead. More information in this regard is expected soon.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com