Patients being treated at the ICU department at Porto’s Hospital de São João on October 26. Photo: ESTELA SILVA/LUSA

Thursday’s Covid stats show marked drop in Portugal’s new infections from previous 24-hours

Today’s ‘Covid statistics’ have shown a marked drop in the number of new infections from the bulletin given 24-hours previously.

But that’s largely because Wednesday figures were ‘off the scale’: a new record in the number of deaths (59 in one 24-hour period), and a huge jump in the number of new infections to a total of 7,497.

With all the controversy over how these results are obtained, the total was still yet another shock for a country grappling to keep up with the ongoing pandemic.

Media reports opened the day with predictions that cancelled so-called ‘non-urgent surgeries’ this year could climb to 152,000. They are currently at 96,000.

Hospitals are reporting ‘chaotic scenes’ in areas most affected by the virus, with ICUs absolutely at the point where no new patients can come in until someone recovers sufficiently to be moved into a ward, or dies.

Today’s figures therefore have been ‘better’. Deaths (45) have again occurred most in the north and Lisbon/ Vale do Tejo areas (17 and 20 respectively), with eight in the centre, one in the Alentejo and none in the Algarve.

As we have said before victims’ ages only come clear some time later, but are generally patients over the age of 80.

New infections today were well down on Wednesday but still over 4,000 (4,410).

As boroughs not yet affected by the tougher measures (click here) are starting to stress to local populations, infections cannot be seen to grow too quickly or they too will start seeing more ‘rights and liberties’ removed. The government’s criteria for tougher restrictions covers council areas with more than 240 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In other words, .24%.

In rural boroughs where inhabitants on the electoral roll number just a few thousand, 0.24% can be very few people indeed.

Says a warning put out by Portimão today, the borough can only afford to register nine new infections a day, or it risks being put into partial lockdown – and right now it is on course for the latter.

The message – as always – is that it is in everyone’s hands how the next few days pan out and how quickly the virus is allowed to spread.