Wednesday’s Covid-numbers show pressure easing in Portugal’s hospitals

Today’s Covid bulletin carries further proof that Portugal’s dire situation is improving.

The numbers of people in hospital has dropped for the second day running; numbers in ICUs are down and new cases – although elevated on results for Monday and Tuesday, habitually ‘bad indicator days’ as they are affected by reduced testing over the weekends – are vastly reduced on the mid-week numbers of the last two weeks.

The 161 deaths registered in the last 24-hours are also a number much reduced from the levels of recent weeks.

This good news comes with another 8.781 recoveries in the last 24-hours, bringing the ‘active case count’ nationally down to 123,312.

News anchors repeatedly refer to the active case count in Portugal as being ‘much too high’ – but it has to be stressed that thousands of these people will be asymptomatic or simply feeling ‘a bit below par’.

On a regional level, Portugal’s numbers are reducing everywhere: Lisbon/ Vale do Tejo being the area worst affected (+2,192 new infections, 77 deaths), followed by the north (+1.050 new infections, 33 deaths), the centre (+775 new infections, 31 deaths), Alentejo (+185 new infections, 12 deaths) and the Algarve (+129 new infections, 6 deaths).

The autonomous regions of Azores and Madeira have each registered one death in the last 24-hours, the latter still seeing more new infections than the islands of the Azores (+47 compared to the Azores figure of just nine new infections).

But despite indications that Portugal’s situation is improving there are to be no immediate changes in the status quo. The country remains in tight lockdown. Indeed, the new head of the vaccination task force, naval veteran Henrique Gouveia e Melo has stressed that this year “it won’t be possible to have a normal summer” because supply issues have vastly compromised the administration of vaccines.

Right now, vaccination rates are around 22,000 per day. Gouveia e Melo’s target is to reach 150,000 a day. But for that to be possible, Portugal has to receive sufficient doses of the vaccines it ordered months ago (click here).