The Prime Minister said today that the country’s return to a state of emergency is not on the table, stressing that this is a constitutional competence of the President of the Republic and that the previous confinement had “immense costs “.
This position was conveyed by António Costa in an interview with TVI, held at the Prime Minister’s official residence in São Bento, which lasted about an hour, after being questioned about a possible return of Portugal to a situation of emergency in the face of steady increase in the number of covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
“It is not a scenario that is currently on the table,” replied the executive’s leader, after being asked if he had already discussed this matter with the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
At this point, António Costa stressed that the scenario adopted by the Government was to raise the state of alert to the level of calamity.
“Right now, this is the right level, but it all depends on a number of factors. It is true that we are going to have a greater number of new cases per day than in the worst phase of the pandemic last April. But, fortunately, now, with much less hospitalized than there was at the time and, above all, with much less hospitalized in intensive care, which is largely due to the fact that there was a significant change in the age group affected “, defended the Prime Minister.
António Costa also advocated that, currently, the National Health Service (SNS) “is better prepared than it was at the beginning of this crisis” pandemic.
“We have an occupancy rate for intensive care beds for covid-19 of 66%. Fortunately, we are far from the situation of having the NHS under pressure,” he said.
Asked about the possibility of the Government adopting a curfew measure at night, as is already the case in several European countries, the leader of the executive replied that he cannot exclude any measure.
“But I must say that the cost of these measures is immense”, especially in the social and economic spheres, he declared, before mentioning that the confinement of last spring generated almost one hundred thousand unemployed in the country.