Lisbon, 31 Oct 2020 (Lusa) – The Council of Ministers meets today to decree “immediate actions” to control the pandemic, one day after the Prime Minister received the parties with parliamentary seats with a view to reaching a consensus on these decisions.
In view of the worsening situation at the national level, the Prime Minister met Friday with parties with parliamentary seats, while the Minister of Economy received social partners on possible containment measures.
“We did not exclude any possible measure at the outset, but we understand that we must adopt measures that disturb personal, social and economic life as little as possible. We must take into account a second element that I have tried to convey: We are facing a long-distance race and, therefore, we cannot spend all the effort or all the measures in the first moments “, António Costa said on Thursday.
The extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers, which starts at 10:00 am, in the Palácio da Ajuda, takes place one day after the country has surpassed the records since the beginning of the pandemic covid-19 with the registration of 40 dead, 4,656 infected and 1,927 inpatients, 275 of whom are in intensive care, according to the Directorate-General for Health.
On the table for discussion will be several possibilities, including the mandatory withdrawal and the extension of restrictions imposed in Paços de Ferreira, Felgueiras and Lousada to more municipalities, as stated on Friday, the Minister of Economy, Siza Vieira, who refused general confinement.
According to the PAN, the Government is considering decreeing a general confinement, but only in the first half of December, to preserve the Christmas period. However, the leader of the PAN André Silva said that this measure was not presented as being certain and stressed that it requires a state of emergency.
According to the leader of the Liberal Initiative, Cotrim Figueiredo, the Government admitted at the hearing on Friday the possibility of being imposed the curfew in counties where the incidence rate reaches 240 per hundred thousand inhabitants.
Through the PSD, Rui Rio warned that the current situation is “even more serious” than that seen in March and said that the country will not experience general confinement because the country’s economy does not allow it. The PSD, he said, will always be “on the side of the solution”, if the Government proposes a new state of emergency.
BE coordinator Catarina Martins, for the time being, has ruled out the need for a new state of emergency, arguing that the Government should use all the installed capacity in health, if necessary using the civil requisition of the private and social sectors.
The PCP, through the voice of the secretary general, Jerónimo de Sousa, pointed out that the executive led by António Costa must take “proportional” and “pedagogical” measures, warning that a health problem “cannot be transformed into a police case” .
Among the parties received by the prime minister on Friday, the ENP defended that it will be against any measure that violates citizens’ rights, freedoms and guarantees and, on the possibility of a new state of emergency being declared, he warned that “it is necessary more pedagogy, more campaign and more effort “in terms of quality of life for the Portuguese.
For Chega, a party that handed over to the Administrative Court of the Lisbon Circle a “subpoena for the defense of rights, freedoms and guarantees” against the ban on movement between municipalities in the national territory, (which runs from today until 06:00 am) November 3), André Ventura criticized the possibility of applying the rules already in force in Paços de Ferreira, Lousada and Felgueiras throughout the national territory, considering that this would be “an injustice”.
Regarding the possibility of a new general confinement in the first half of December, André Ventura considered that “it is not justified and it may even be counterproductive”.
The state of emergency was decreed, for 15 days, from March 19 to April 2, 2020 and was renewed twice, effective until May 2.
Portugal has been in a calamity situation since the 14th of October throughout the national territory.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.