Covid-19: Portugal will have “very low levels” of new cases if restrictions are maintained

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) estimates that, if Portugal maintains the restrictions currently adopted, it will register in December “very low levels” of new cases of covid-19, followed by fewer hospital admissions and deaths.

“In the most recent projections, we estimated that 22 of the 31 Member States [of the European Union and the European Economic Area] will have a reduction in the number of confirmed cases and, subsequently, in hospital admissions and deaths, to very low levels”, indicates the ECDC in written reply sent to the Lusa agency.

Portugal is one of those countries, but this only if “they maintain the response measures in force on November 18, 2020 and until the end of the forecast period, which is December 25, 2020”, adds the European agency, alluding to the report released this week.

At a time when the epidemiological situation regarding the covid-19 disease continues to worsen in Portugal, with new daily maximum hospitalizations and intensive care, the country is in a state of emergency, with restrictions on circulation on the public road during the weekends and weekends and commuting between municipalities on holidays, more limited hours for shops and restaurants and mandatory use of masks on the street and in the workplace.

If these measures continue to be adopted in Portugal, ECDC foresees, in the report released this week with short-term projections on the evolution of the epidemiological situation in the European Union (EU), that after a peak of infections in mid-November, it will register a sharp slowdown in December, which is expected to culminate in less than 2,000 daily cases in January.

In the case of daily numbers of deaths, hospitalizations and entries into intensive care, the peak is expected to be reached in December, according to this European agency, which expects a slowdown in January.

“Given the response measures currently in place, we anticipate that more than half of the EU Member States and the European Economic Area will see a reduction of more than 50% in the daily number of confirmed cases, and a subsequent reduction in associated hospital demand and deaths, ”says the ECDC in the report.

At the same time, “more than two-thirds of member states are expected to experience some decrease in the daily rate of confirmed cases as a consequence of current policies,” he adds.

The European public health agency admits, however, that these projections “continue to be a great challenge, since they are very dependent on the policies enacted by the Member States”.

In the case of the estimates released this week, “they were made shortly after the implementation of new measures, including orders and recommendations for staying at home”, so “there is little data observed on their impact and wide ranges of uncertainty”, safeguards the ECDC .

Another scenario considered by the ECDC in this report was if “the behavior returned to that of April 1, 2020, when the most stringent measures were in force across Europe”, with the agency verified that, in this scenario, “all countries would attend a decline in the incidence of covid-19 ”.

Based in Sweden, ECDC’s mission is to help European countries respond to disease outbreaks.

The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 1.4 million deaths in more than 60 million infection cases worldwide.

In Portugal, the barriers of 4,000 deaths and 280,000 confirmed cases of infection have already been overcome.

The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.


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