Major incident page

Purpose of this page

The purpose of this page is to keep you, the community, informed of developing major incidents that may pose a risk to life and property, so people can take appropriate action as advised by the appropriate government authorities. Such incidents may include, severe weather conditions, rural fires, earthquakes, radiological disasters, viruses etc. These may also include incidents originating from overseas, such as in the case of viruses, which could pose a risk to the population in Portugal.

The information and advice given, is from government sources, and reliable established professional organisations both in Portugal and overseas, including in this case China. Please use the tabs on the right of this page to obtain more information



Safe Communities Portugal activated its response to Covid-19 on 26th January 2020. Currently it is an ongoing incident.  The following and attached tabs should be read in conjunction with the official advice given by the Director General of Health in Portuguese. All information you need to know about, you´ll find on the tabs to the right.


Click on the picture for a fresh update of the situation of Covid-19.
















Go directly to DGS here.

Development of Covid-19

On 29 December 2019 Chinese authorities identified a cluster of similar cases of  pneumonia in the city of Wuhan in China. Wuhan is a city with 11 million inhabitants and capital of the Hubei Province.

These cases were soon determined to be caused by a novel coronavirus that was later named SARS-CoV-2.

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that are common in humans and are responsible for up to 30% of common colds.

Two outbreaks of new diseases in recent history were also caused by coronaviruses – SARS in 2003 that resulted in around 1000 deaths5 and MERS in 2012 that resulted in 862 deaths.

The first cases of COVID-19 outside of China were identified on January 13 in Thailand and on January 16 in Japan. Since then COVID-19 has spread to many more countries – cases have been reported in all world regions.

On 30th January the new coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) , as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.

On 11th February the WHO announced  the official name of the coronavirus: “Covid-19“. It is the first decision made by the scientific community that is meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, to analyse and share information about the disease.

On the 2nd March DGS confirmed that there were two confirmed cases in Portugal.

On 11th March the WHO  declared the worldwide outbreak of the new coronavirus a pandemic, with more than 118,000 cases in 114 countries and 4,291 deaths.


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