Archive for March, 2020

TAP flight restrictions between Lisbon, Madeira and Azores

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

TAP will operate just five flights a week between Wednesday, April 1 and May 4, between Lisbon, Madeira and the Azores, according to information released by the company in its’ site’.

According to the official source of the carrier, “all flights are subject to authorizations”, and if they are not granted they may even be canceled.

Thus, as of this Wednesday, the flag carrier will only operate two flights a week between Lisbon and Funchal, an equal number of connections between the capital and Ponta Delgada and a weekly flight from Lisbon to Terceira.

The Civil Aviation Pilots Union (SPAC) informed its associates on Monday that TAP, “due to the cancellation of all its flights for the month of April, intends to lay out its pilots “.

In a statement to which Lusa had access, after meeting with the carrier’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee, the SPAC management tells members that “TAP has informed that, due to the cancellation of all its flights for the month of April, it intends to put its pilots in a lay-off regime, without implementing the measures, which are still under analysis “.

“TAP was able to do so very quickly,” he says in the same statement.

According to other union sources, who also met with the Board of Directors, led by Miguel Frasquilho, and with the Executive Committee, headed by Antonoaldo Neves, TAP has committed itself to inform workers of the measures to be taken in the face of the impact of covid-19 over the next two days.

The intention is for the cost reduction measures to take effect in April, union sources told Lusa.

In communicating to its members, the Union of Maintenance and Aircraft Technicians (Sitema) needed that Antonoaldo Neves announced “the suspension of all TAP flights as of April 1 (even Azores and Madeira is subject to authorizations)”, staying ” only the execution of flights for specific missions is open “.

“David Pedrosa [TAP administrator] stated that the definition of the model to be adopted by TAP is currently being studied, this model is being negotiated between TAP and the Government and should be concluded within 48 hours”, he details the System in the document to which Lusa had access.

Today, the unions representing aviation workers, in a joint statement, announced that the Government believes that TAP “needs a strong recapitalization and that there is a willingness to carry it out”.

The unions were “informed that TAP will be included in the European Union’s aid package for airlines, and that it is also assumed by the Government that TAP SGPS needs a strong recapitalization, and that there is a willingness to do it”, reads in a joint statement from the Union of Workers and Aviation (SITAVA), Union of Metallurgical and Related Industries (SIMA), Union of Staff of Commercial Aviation (SQAC), National Union of Civil Aviation Workers (SINTAC) and Union of Handling Technicians of Airports (STHA).

 

 

Development of treatments to combat Covid 19

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Infarmed said today it is monitoring all national and international efforts to develop potential treatments and vaccines for covid-19, but insisted that no drug has yet proven its effectiveness in fighting the disease.

“To date, there are several initiatives that are underway, regarding potential treatments for covid-19. However, at the present date and based on preliminary data, no drug has yet proved effective in the treatment of covid-19 ”, according to the statement released by the medicine’s authority.

Stressing the importance of the “synergy of efforts, international cooperation and support measures for companies”, Infarmed said that it is “in permanent articulation” with the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

In a press release also published today, the European body revealed that it had put the fight against the pandemic caused by the new coronavirus “at the top of the priorities”, in addition to currently accompanying several companies in the “development of about 40 therapeutic options”.

Regarding the possible therapies on which clinical trials are already taking place, Infarmed highlighted the following: remdesivir (experimental medicine used for Ebola infection), lopinavir / ritonavir (association authorized for the treatment of HIV infection), chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine ( nationally authorized as treatments for malaria and some autoimmune diseases), systemic interferons, namely interferon beta (authorized for multiple sclerosis); and monoclonal antibodies.

On the other hand, the national authority for the medicine and health products acknowledged that “phase I clinical trials for two vaccines are already underway”, although it has admitted that “rapid approval” to deal with the current pandemic is “complex”.

“Based on experience in the development of other vaccines, it is estimated that the entire process will take at least one year before a vaccine for covid-19 can be prepared for approval and available in sufficient quantities to ensure wide-scale use” , says Infarmed.

 

Presentation of the Epidemiological situation of Covid 19 in Portugal

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Fulfilling the duty to keep information open and cooperation between the different sovereign bodies, party forces and social partners and similarly to what happened last week, a closed door presentation of “Covid-19 epidemiological situation in Portugal”, took place at 1000 hrs at the INFARMED Auditorium, Lisbon this morning

The session had several technical presentations, namely by epidemiologists from DGS (Directorate-General for Health), INSA (National Health Institute Doctor Ricardo Jorge), ISPUP (Public Health Institute of the University of Porto) and ENSP (National School of Health) Public health).

The President of the Republic, the President of the Assembly of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the leaders of the Political Parties with parliamentary representation, the leaders of the employers’ confederations and union structures will be present. These, who were already present in the previous session, will be joined by the members of the Council of State, who will attend the session through videoconference.

This afternoon the Prime Minister is continuing the sequence of working meetings that began last week with Inter-municipal Communities across the country and the Prime Minister will meet with the CIMs of the Central Region of the Country.

Exceptional and temporary rent payment scheme

Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

Exceptional and temporary rent payment scheme

 

Read in conjunction with the Q and As 

 

The   Council of Ministers of March 26 approved a Law Proposal that establishes a flexibility in the payment of rents during the period in which the exceptional measures to contain the coronavirus / Covid-19 pandemic are in force.

With this law proposal, which was delivered today 31st to the Assembly of the Republic, is intended to guarantee the minimum stability in the lives of people and companies, while ensuring better conditions so that, after the exception period, it is possible to overcome the difficulties for it generated.

All measures apply to rents due on April 1, 2020.

 

Residential leasing

The proposal foresees, for housing leasing, to ensure, for households that suffer a significant income drop in this period, flexibility in the payment of rents that ensures that any delays that may occur are not a default and that does not imply payment, the indemnity of 20% of the rent, provided for in the Civil Code, provided that these rents are paid within the periods provided for in the proposed law.

Authorize the Housing and Urban Rehabilitation Institute to grant interest-free loans for the payment of rent to these tenants or their landlords, when they have low income and the tenants do not use the loan and to offset the amount of monthly rent due and not pay.

Allow public entities with leased houses to, during this period, reduce or exempt from rent payments those tenants who prove to have had a drop in income, or even establish moratoriums on them.

 

Access to the scheme

To be able to access this regime, tenants need to prove that they have had a drop of more than 20% of the household’s income compared to the income of the previous month or the same period of the previous year, and that the payment of the rent is or becomes higher 35% of income.

In the case of landlords, they must prove to have had a drop of more than 20% of the household income, if it is caused by the non-payment of rents under this regime, whenever the remaining disposable income of the household falls, for this reason, below of the Social Support Index.

The landlord has the right to terminate the contract, for failure to pay past due rent, if the lessee does not make his payment, within 12 months from the end of that period, in monthly instalments of not less than one-twelfth of the total amount, paid along with each month’s income.

 

Non-residential lease

 

For non-residential leasing, the proposal provides for the suspension of rental payments, in the case of commercial establishments that have been forced to close, under the declaration of a state of emergency.

The payment of arrears may be deferred in the months in which the state of emergency prevails and in the first month thereafter, for the twelve months after the end of that period, in monthly instalments of not less than one-twelfth of the total amount, paid together with the rent in the month concerned.

 

Prime Minister Country will enter the most critical month of pandemic

Monday, March 30th, 2020
“The country will enter the most critical month of this pandemic, so it is essential that we prepare for it,” said Prime Minister António Costa after a working visit to the Covid-19 military support center for the pandemic, at the Old Hospital Militar da Ajuda, and the Hospital Support Unit of Câmara and Universidade de Lisboa, in the university’s swimming pools, both in Lisbon on 30th March.
The Prime Minister stressed that “the virus only goes where we take it, because we are the ones who carry it, and that is why it is essential to move as little as possible and remain as isolated as possible”.
“If we do that, we are not transmitting the virus to anyone, nor are we at risk of being infected,” he said, adding that “the fight against this pandemic depends, above all, on each act with responsibility, with discipline”.
This Easter “will really have to be a different Easter” in which “people cannot go to land”, nor can they go to the Algarve, and families cannot also gather to celebrate it. It is a sacrifice “essential to saving us all,” he said, adding that “the best way to be together right now is to be really apart”.
Extend the measures
António Costa also said that, “knowing that we have been successful, fortunately, in lowering the peak of this pandemic – that is, in lowering the moment when the greatest number of people will be infected -, thus prolonging its duration, this means that we will also have to prolong the measures that have been adopted, with a state of emergency or without a state of emergency ».
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, “this week will take the initiative to renew or not the state of emergency”, giving the Government its opinion and being the decision of the Assembly of the Republic.
Articulate initiatives
António Costa said that, so far, “our hospitals have responded to needs, and we are doing everything to keep them going, but if the pandemic continues to evolve as projected, it is essential to have these rear units”, the created by the Armed Forces and the Lisbon City Council and University.
The Prime Minister stressed the importance of coordinating efforts, stating that “the mobilization of all is essential, but it must be an organized mobilization. It is important that those who want to make donations or take initiatives try to articulate them through the Regional Health Administrations, under penalty of having a concentration of many resources where less are needed and failing them where they are indispensable ».
Tests in nursing homes
António Costa also referred to tests in nursing homes, stating that “the ability, which the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Lisbon developed, to do rapid tests and, consequently, to do more tests, and the articulation that it established, through the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, over the weekend, with several university institutions, allows today to start, in a pilot phase, a more active collection of samples from the population that is in homes in various regions where universities have joined the University of Lisbon ».
«The objective is to take this effort across the country, adding it to others from multiple municipalities that have their own projects, such as that of Porto, which has its own project for homes in the city, with the support of the Ministry of Health», he said, answering questions from the press.
The Prime Minister – who was accompanied by the Ministers of National Defense, Gomes Cravinho, of Science, Technology and Higher Education, Manuel Heitor, and of Health, Marta Temido – insisted that, also in this, “it is fundamental to act in an organized way so that , with the few resources that exist with the limited capacity and time that each test takes, we can direct them to the priorities ».
National unity and effort
António Costa also said that “the sense of salvation and national unity has prevailed in Portuguese society and also among political leaders”, referring to “the cooperation between sovereign bodies” and the mobilization “of all the institutions of Portuguese society, from Forces Armed forces, security forces, universities, municipalities and entities from the central administration to companies – all have made an extraordinary effort ».
Right now, “we have to focus on the priority of stopping the pandemic and responding to the needs of people who are infected or who may be infected”.
At the same time, “a set of measures has been adopted by the Government, and the Assembly of the Republic is also discussing a set of measures, which aims to give life support to the economy and household income over the next three months”.
«Then, we have to start preparing the effort to rebuild and relaunch our economy. And the effort must be everyone’s, ”he said.