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The President of the Republic spoke to the country regarding the renewal of the state of emergency for another 15 days. From the Palace of Belém, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced that the measures that will now enter into force will continue until the 17th of April, when the state of emergency may or may not be renewed once more.

“This will perhaps be our biggest challenge in the last 45 years”, warns Marcelo.

The covid-19 pandemic “brutally aggravates poverty and inequality”, notes the President of the Republic. Also for this reason, “its economic and social effects will be more profound and lasting than the longest crises we have ever lived”, anticipates the head of state.

“We cannot cheapen the consolidation of the first phase”, warns the President of the Republic, after congratulating the Portuguese people for their efforts throughout the State of Emergency.

Highlighting the countless sectors in Portugal that have not rested, the President described four phases in the fight against Covid-19.

The first is characterised by exponential growths of the pandemic, the second by the deceleration of the outbreak and treating patients with mild symptoms at home. In the third phase, the most serious cases caused by the pandemic will have to be faced, and in the fourth phase progressive stabilization is expected of Portuguese collective life.

Marcelo de Sousa emphasized the need to focus on five fundamental objectives, as follow:

  • Protecting at-risk groups, wherever they live, whether at home, in our home, or on the street;
  • Use common sense to open the state of emergency to prevent situations of rupture in prison establishments, particularly among the population at greatest risk;
  • To ensure that despite the many reasons – which there are – for tiredness and anxiety, this Easter we shall not exchange a few years in the life and health of everyone for a few days of vacation or extended family reunion of some;
  • To ask that our compatriots who want to come from abroad comply with the strict recommendations that we will adopt for Easter and rethink to postpone their plans;
  • Defining the scenarios for the academic year, taking into account the evolution of the pandemic for April.

During this second phase, the President said that “we must win the second phase and conquer April”, and warned that “we will only conquer April if we don’t let our guard down”. Additionally, he reminded us that other situations have shown that previous journeys to home towns have prolonged the pandemic for an added 30 days.

The President warns that the number of infected will reach the tens of thousands, but the next weeks will be the most decisive and there will also be tens of thousands of lives saved.