The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) yesterday placed Portugal in a group of states with a “worrying trend” in cases of covid-19, but with “moderate risk”; (middle group out of three groups).

In today’s updated and presented risk assessment, ECDC points out that positive cases of infection with the new coronavirus, which causes covid-19 disease, have increased steadily across the European Union since August, which demonstrates that “measures taken were not always sufficient to reduce or control exposure”, warning that“ it is therefore crucial that Member States implement all measures necessary at the first signs of new outbreaks ”.

According to the Center, non-pharmaceutical interventions such as physical distance, hygiene and the use of masks proved to be insufficient to reduce or control exposure to the coronavirus.

Even so, the agency’s director, Andrea Ammon, pointed out that, “until a safe and effective vaccine is available, these measures remain the main public health tool to control and manage outbreaks” of covid-19.

In this updated assessment, ECDC divided Member States into three groups: those with a “stable trend and reduced risk”, those with a “worrying trend, but a moderate risk” and those with “a worrying trend and a high risk”.

Portugal is placed in the subgroup with a worrying trend, but with a risk considered to be moderate, which includes countries where high and increasing [infection] rates are reported due to the high rates of tests performed, and transmission is primarily reported in young individuals a low proportion of serious cases and low death notification rates.

“This represents a moderate overall risk of covid-19 for the general population and for healthcare provision. However, it should be noted that if there is a high volume of transmission over several weeks, the protection of vulnerable individuals is a challenge, and since the impact of the disease on these groups is very high, the risk for this population remains to be very high”.

This subgroup includes Austria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United Kingdom.

According to the ECDC assessment, the states that currently present the highest risk are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Romania and Spain.

“Today’s new risk assessment shows us clearly that we cannot let our guard down. With some Member States registering a greater number of cases than during the peak of March, it is perfectly clear that this crisis is not behind us ”, commented the European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, in a joint press conference with the director of ECDC.