Portugal’s PM warns “we are not controlling pandemic”

Portugal’s prime minister António Costa has warned that the increasing number of new cases of SARS-CoV-2 in Greater Lisbon mean “we (the authorities as well as the population) are not controlling the pandemic”.

Adding to ‘media noise’ heralding imminent announcements on new restrictions, Mr Costa told reporters in Bruges yesterday that the summer depends on turning Greater Lisbon’s situation around.

If not, Portugal will “go red” (in terms of recognised safe travel) for high summer.

Explain reports, the PM’s message was that it is “necessary” to “quickly reverse the situation” and restrict it to the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region where there are currently about ⅔ of the positive new cases, so that Portugal does not remain in the red in the European Control Centre’s table of diseases (ECDC) which tourists refer to when planning their holidays”.

Far from any hopes that Brits may be given the green light to come here this season, fears are that no countries will deem Portugal safe.

And this is where Mr Costa seems to believe that it is all down to citizens’ behaviours.

“The appeal I am making is one I have made before to all those who live in the municipality of Lisbon and the Metropolitan Area of Lisbon: bear these numbers in mind. These numbers simply signify one thing: we are not controlling the pandemic. And we are not controlling the pandemic because (people’s) behaviours are not adequate to the reality of the pandemic…”

In the PM’s mindset people put too much faith in the ‘wonder of the vaccines’. Yes, they have reduced mortality, and there are not so many people being admitted to hospitals, but “the problem still exists” and “it is increasing”.

Beyond these observations however, the PM didn’t seem to have much in the way of a solution. Locking Lisbon down through the week is clearly out of the question as it would “be very complicated for the functioning of the rest of the country”, he said.

Thus the country is on tenterhooks. It’s clear the Covid Digital Certificate is going to be used as a tool to reducing the risk of transmission (by excluding people without one from a gamut of activities) but it’s not clear quite how it will be used – nor how it will be legally justified given that experts have already confirmed that fully vaccinated people still transmit the virus and can contract it (click here).

The weight of seemingly conflicting information is huge. Authorities’ message remains: “the more people who become vaccinated, the better”. But everything is countered by “these vaccines are not 100% efficacious; people can still become infected after being fully vaccinated and some can still die”.

No-one explains how a Covid Digital Certificate can change this. But the messages of ‘doom and gloom’ continue – and we still have two days to go before the Council of Ministers is due to announce new restrictions.

MEANTIME, in the United States, one news channel has finally addressed what it calls the “potentially deadly impact of censorship and media cover-ups as evidence mounts that big tech and corporate media has silenced truthful facts about Covid to the detriment of the American people”.

Fox News “Sunday Morning Features” gave time to two doctors convinced of the efficacy of current drugs in treating early symptoms of Covid-19: drugs that should be easily available but supply of which has been severely limited through the pandemic (click here).

One of these drugs, Ivermectin, is being prescribed by doctors in Portugal, quietly. They are a small group; they do not even seek payment for the remote prescriptions they supply to those who find them – because they believe this direction is the best direction: facing the virus and dealing with it at its early stages.

The ‘wonder of Ivermectin’ is not new (click here). It is simply that for reasons unclear its efficacy is being suppressed.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com