“We must go to school, the theatre and cinema but reduce contacts…” says health director

Further mixed messaging today as the latest Covid figures report that there have been another 46 deaths in the last 24-hours and over 2,500 new infections.

Health director Graça Freitas told reporters that ‘we have to go on going to school, to work, to the theater and cinema but reduce our number of contacts. We have to go on living…”

Graphs are once again being produced to show that without ‘flattening the curve’ the capacity for response of the SNS health service will fail massively.

Today’s tally of 46 deaths is a new ‘record’.

Hospital admissions remain in a similar ‘state of extreme pressure’, explain reports: 133 new patients in the last 24-hour period, 10 new patients in ICUs – a total of 2,255 people now in hospitals with Covid-19.

The narrative is getting tired, the references to the ‘marathon-with-no-end-in-sight’ losing impact when in reality the whole country is waiting to hear the declaration of a State of Emergency and everything that it will mean.

To this end, PCP’s Jerónimo de Sousa has just emerged from his party’s audience with President Marcelo in Belém to explain that the communists can still see absolutely no need for the declaration of a new State of Emergency.

It’s an option that makes no sense, he told reporters. A State of Emergency won’t solve the problems. Repression isn’t the answer, he said, stressing the country needs ‘further measures of protection’.

Mr de Sousa cited the ‘prohibition of fairs and markets’ under a new State of Emergency that will only bring economic harm for thousands of families whose lives depend on them, while commercial malls and outlets are allowed to remain open. “Where is the sense in that”, he queried.

It now seems the government may be prepared to drop this ‘demand’ under its plans to come into effect from Wednesday (click here) as long as the fairs/ markets are duly authorised by regional mayors.

Bloco de Esquerda, PEV (the Greens) and Iniciativa Liberal also continue with ‘serious reservations’ on the need for a State of Emergency but have reserved final decisions until they read the government’s proposal to be voted on in parliament.