“Worst numbers ever”: Portugal registers over 4,200 infections in last 24-hours

In another welter of horror-slanted headlines, Portugal’s media today is reporting the ‘worst numbers ever’ as 4,224 new infections have been registered in the last 24-hours.

Deaths attributed to Covid-19 were 33, which is actually not the ‘worst ever tally’ for the country since the start of the pandemic.

But emphasis remains on ‘numbers’: both in terms of new infections and hospital admissions.

The latter increased by 40 from Wednesday, meaning that hospitals up and down the country are now dealing with 1.834 Covid patients, of which 269 are in ICUs (that is up seven on the previous day’s totals, and nudging ever closer to the ‘maximum’ of 800 health minister Marta Temido indicated was capacity in the early days).

Although emphasis – to the point of highlighting numbers in bold text – is on the ‘worst ever rate of new infections registered’, this has to be set against the fact that testing now is at the highest levels it has ever been. In other words, the more authorities test, the higher the probability of discovering new infections.

Little emphasis is put on numbers deemed ‘recovered’ from the virus – which in the last 24-hours was 1,701.

Indeed little emphasis is put on the numbers of new infections that are asymptomatic.

Elsewhere, the world’s media has highlighted the example of footballing legend Cristiano Ronaldo who is languishing in self-isolation, positive for the virus, but feeling absolutely fine – and not a little bit frustrated by being barred from playing for his team.

Other ‘worrying headlines’ have been coming in about ‘mortality in September being systematically above levels hoped’. Again, this has to be tempered by the fact that the mortality reports are talking about has affected “above all the over-85 year age group”.

On a day when France went ‘back into lockdown’, reports are getting more and more ‘bleak’. But in Portugal one positive for populations in areas that have been barely touched by the pandemic is that it now looks likely that any measures brought in following the extraordinary Council of Ministers on Saturday will be “circumscript”.

Talking to journalists earlier today, under secretary of state for health António Lacerda Sales intimated that “all (European) countries will be adopting restrictive measures on a territorial level” but these restrictions will take each territory’s reality into consideration “so that other territories that aren’t under so much pressure can breathe, from a point of view of economically and socially”.

Another development today has come from President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa who has said that he will indeed be speaking to the nation next week, once the new restrictions imposed following the extraordinary Council of Ministers on Saturday have been announced.

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