Portugal’s RT is below 1: “best Saturday for a month” in terms of numbers of new infections

Portugal’s RT (transmission) number is at last below 1 (coming in at 0.98 as of yesterday).

This has seen today’s Covid bulletin register the ‘lowest number of new infections on a Saturday’ for the last month; a fall in hospital numbers (both in infirmaries and ICUs), a sharp increase in the number of ‘recoveries’ but an equally surprising number of deaths: 17 in the last 24-hours.

For the time being details on the deaths are not being publicised. This information usually comes in the evening television news, and invariably involves elderly people who have contracted the virus irrespective of whether or not they have been partially or even fully-vaccinated.

Reports are reiterating today “vaccinated people can have the same quantity of virus as non-vaccinated” (this from Diário de Notícias).

DN quotes from a study on an outbreak of cases of Covid-19 in America (the State of Massachusetts) where ¾ of the people infected were vaccinated.

“This investigation was decisive in the decision of the Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) to recommend vaccinated people return to using masks in closed spaces in areas of the United States where the Delta variant is feeding an increase in infections”, says the paper.

As Portugal heard a few days ago from health minister Marta Temido the Delta variant is responsible for 95% of infections in Portugal. Today SIC television news has updated that percentage, saying 98% of all cases detected recently have been of the Delta variant.

In terms of the number of deaths, this has sadly been the ‘worst Saturday for a month’. The majority of deaths (10) came in the Lisbon/ Vale do Tejo region, followed by four in the north, two in the Algarve and one in the central region.