Portugal’s hospital numbers suggest ‘we’re on track for deconfinement stage 3 on Monday’

Portugal’s stellar hospital numbers with regard to Covid-19 mean that in spite of all the grumblings about Rt numbers and ‘risk matrixes’, the country as a whole is on track for ‘deconfinement stage 3’ next Monday.

Today’s Covid bulletin has added more weight to this likelihood after an Infarmed meeting this morning agreed there is no clear reason to stop the reopening of the country’s battered economy.

The Rt number has risen to 1.04 but incidence (at a rolling seven day average of 67.4 cases per 100,000) is still well within the parameters set by experts. 

Right now, there are currently less people being treated in Portuguese hospitals for Covid-19 than there have been since last September. Numbers dropped by 20 in the last 24-hours to 459, with 118 of those in intensive care (this is well below the ‘red line’ of 240 stipulated by experts).

The number of ‘active cases’ is also down by another 343 to just 25,441 people who have tested positive out of a national total of 10.2 million inhabitants.

Of course, not everyone in the country has been tested – but on the basis that testing is being done in areas of outbreaks, it is a good indicator that Covid-19 is far from cutting a deadly swathe through Portugal.

There were over 746 ‘recoveries’ in the last 24-hours, and only 408 new cases – the majority of them in the north (+153) and Lisbon (+137).

Five people have died with Covid-19 in the last 24-hours, meaning the percentage of deaths against numbers recovered is very slowly reducing. Yesterday it was 2.05%, today it is 2.04%.

Experts at the Infarmed meeting today attributed much of this to the vaccination roll-out which has already protected the most vulnerable from the worst effects of contracting this virus (click here).

Deconfinement stage three refers to the reopening/ restarting of: 

  • further educational establishments and universities 
  • cinemas, theatres, auditoria and similar 
  • as well as shops, malls and Lojas de Cidadão (citizens’ shops) – the latter seeing people by appointment
  • restaurants, cafés and coffee shops (with a maximum of four people at tables inside, and six outside) on current reduced timetables of up to 10.30 pm on weekdays, 1pm on weekends and Bank Holidays
  • medium risk sports 
  • outdoor physical activities for groups of up to six people
  • outdoor events, with reduced audience
  • weddings and baptisms at 25% capacity.

There is one more stage before Portugal totally reopens. This has been scheduled for May 3 when (all being well):

  •  restaurants, cafés and coffee shops will be allowed to operate without any restrictions on their usual timetables (with a maximum of six people to a table inside, and 10 on terraces/ esplanades)
  • all sports will be allowed
  • physical activity in the open air will be without limits on numbers, as well as classes in gyms
  • large outdoor events as well as interior events will be allowed, with limited capacity
  • weddings and baptisms can go ahead with 50% capacity.