Portugal has seen yet another fall in the number of new cases of Covid-19, and the number of deaths.
Monday’s bulletin reports 198 deaths in the last 24-hour period (that’s the lowest number since January 18) and 2,505 new cases (the lowest number since December 28).
It is yet more proof that this stonkingly rigid national lockdown is succeeding in bringing down levels of transmission.
The next steps are to be defined. But the dire forecasts last week are looking increasingly like ‘worst case scenarios’ and perhaps not a true reflection of the ‘efforts’ of lockdown.
Taking the latest picture from the top, Lisbon and Vale do Tejo is still the region with the greatest number of cases (+1,760) and deaths (+100). The other regions show cases dropping off enormously: north – 379 new cases, 32 deaths; centre – 177 cases, 38 deaths; Alentejo – 60 cases, 19 deaths; Algarve – 61 cases, 4 deaths.
Madeira too is bringing its case numbers down (only 58 new cases in today’s bulletin, but 3 deaths).
The Azores remains the ‘poster child’ of Portugal’s epidemic, with only 10 new cases and no deaths in the last 24-hours. The Azores has only registered 26 deaths in the entire pandemic – and bearing in mind these have been in advanced seniors, the archipelago has really done exceptionally well with its approach to the virus.
Today’s ‘good news’ is reflected in the total number of active cases nationally – down to 140,644 and numbers deemed to have recovered: 612,921.
The only moot point is that hospital internments are still running ‘high’ (6,344 people being treated for Covid in the nation’s hospitals) and focus is now almost exclusively on combating the pandemic – meaning the collateral effects of the pandemic on other pathologies will be far reaching.
ICUs too are full of critical Covid cases (another 12 people were admitted in last 24-hours, bringing numbers up to 877).
And before we get too carried away with the brightening picture, today’s bulletin carries a list of all the boroughs and their ‘cumulative case numbers’ over the last 14 days: there is still way too much ‘very dark maroon’, signifying more than 960 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Indeed, SIC television news reports: “More than 70% of the 308 Portuguese boroughs are in extreme risk due to the number of cases (within them) of Covid-19”.