Six deaths in Lisbon, over 100 in ICUs: but Portugal’s Covid wave shows some light

Tuesday’s Covid bulletin can easily be interpreted as further proof that the public health crisis is deepening: there have been six deaths recorded in Lisbon, with another 1,020 new cases.

But one ‘chink of light’ is in the numbers of people who have recovered from testing positive. As we have explained before, many of these will not have been very ill at all. They may have had only light symptoms; some will not have had any symptoms. And, today, 1,293 of them are ‘clear’ of traces of SARS-CoV-2 that caused them to test positive in the first place.

In other words, they are now immune to the virus (indeed their immunity is recognised by experts as more robust than anything conferred by any of the vaccines click here) and there are ‘more of them’ than the citizens who became infected in the last 24-hours.

Needless to say, media focus is on the rising numbers in ICUs (this is the first time in two months that numbers have been over 100) and increasing concern within care homes.

Another ‘issue’ today is the rising number of infections in the Algarve. These have been cited by health minister Marta Temido who has already warned of the likelihood of new restrictions ‘coming down the line’ at Thursday’s Council of Ministers.

Ms Temido describes the situation in the Algarve as “worrying” and “increasing every day”. That said, the region is home to well over 400,000 people, has a sizeable number of holidaymakers trying to enjoy themselves – and has still only mustered 70 infections.

Ms Temido’s concern about numbers rising every day is completely valid, albeit the increase in the last 24-hours has been precisely one. Monday’s bulletin flagged 69 infections, Tuesday’s 70.

Lisbon and Vale do Tejo meantime is responsible for 64% of the new infections (a total of 648, in a universe of roughly 3.5 million people).

When one tilts perspective on numbers, they can become less scary.

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