JOSÉ COELHO/LUSA

Portugal ‘4th in world and 3rd in EU for number of new contagions’

Further proof today that the vaccines have no effect on the high transmissibility of Omicron: Portugal is being classified by national media as the fourth in the world, and third in EU, for the highest number of daily contagions in a table led by Israel – a country that has studied, and discounted, the use of further booster jabs.

As CNBC news explained on January 17: “A fourth shot of Covid-19 vaccine boosts antibodies to even higher levels than the third jab but it is not enough to prevent Omicron infections, according to a preliminary study in Israel”.

This, and the knowledge that Omicron is being powered by young, healthy, vaccinated adults (click here), helps understand today’s ‘headline’.

Portugal is one of the most-vaccinated countries in the world. With 94% of the population double-jabbed – and 93% of the over-80s and 95% of the over-70s triple jabbed – an ideal world would see the country immune to infection, but this sadly is not the case.

Incidence and Rt are not simply stubbornly refusing to come down, they are going up: 6,848.7 new cases of infection are now found in every 100,000 citizens – albeit many are asymptomatic or with such slight symptoms they had no idea they were infected – and the Rt is sitting at 1.14 (the ideal being below 1 in order for the virus to ‘wane’).

Deaths today are at a new ‘high’, 49 – but it is January, and January death tolls are habitually on the high side.

Ages/ comorbidities of the victims are rarely publicised, thus it is probably safe to assume the fatalities are in the elderly/ vulnerable age groups (who will all invariably have been double, if not tripled jabbed).

On an EU basis, our numbers of new infections come only behind Denmark (83% vaccinated) and Slovenia (61%).

But in spite of these high numbers, the number of people in hospitals suffering the worst effects of Covid infection remain fairly stable. There are 2,469 in infirmaries as of the last 24-hours, and 160 in intensive care.

Ministry of health data released today has also shown that this month has seen 11,230 deaths in Portugal all told, of which those attributed to Covid (and likely to have been inflated click here) were just 929.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com