Situation Reports Portugal 2020-03-16 to 2020-04-05

Sunday 5th April 2020 – 0900 hrs

 

Health

Yesterday at 1100 hrs, the DGS announced that the total number of cases had passed the 10,000 mark, standing at 10,524 cases (up 638). This is a smaller increase compared with the previous period.  There were 266 deaths (up 20 – compared with an increase of 40 for the previous period). A total of 75 people have recovered (up by 7). There are over 81,000 suspected cases (up 6,000).

The global situation shows that there have been over 1,200,000 cases with nearly 65,000 deaths. Spain, the only country with a land border with Portugal, has moved to second place in the World´s most infected nation and has over 126,000 cases and over 12,000 deaths.

In terms of the regional breakdown in Portugal, the DGS announced the following statistics:

  • North Portugal – 6,280 (up 299) with 141 deaths (up 11).
  • Lisboa and Vale do Tejo – 2, 513 (up 140) with 54 deaths (up 3).
  • Centro – 1,372 cases (up 175) with 66 deaths (up 5).
  • Algarve – 182 cases (up 3) with 5 deaths (up 2).
  • Açores – 63 cases (0 deaths).
  • Alentejo – 63 cases (no change) with 1 death.
  • Madeira – 50 cases – see our report from Madeira.

 

State of Emergency

Here is a small selection of reports from yesterday in Portugal.

Police Traffic Operations up to the Easter Period – The GNR and PSP have announced in a joint statement, that the two security forces will carry out operations before the  9-13 April period by intensify patrolling, awareness-raising and inspection operations throughout the country, to ensure compliance with the rules of the state of emergency.  They stated that the purpose of the operations before the Easter period is to support the population, in addition to ensuring compliance with the rules of the state of emergency. (Picture GNR)

 

Airports during the Easter Period – The  Prime Minister, António Costa, announced that Portugal will close all airports during the Easter period and that the decree-law that regulates the extension of the state of emergency prohibits travel outside the municipality of residence in the Easter period, between 9 to 13 April. The Government will also limit the capacity of transport in light vehicles of five people to two people, except for direct family members.  A vehicle with nine seats, for example, can only carry three people .  This measure will take effect during the period of renewal of the state of emergency, that is, 15 days”, the executive source told Lusa. (Source Lusa).

Funeral Operations – The State of Emergency decree states that Funeral agencies must remain in operation and ensure that funeral ceremonies of the dead diagnosed with covid-19 are carried out. Funerals will be carried out conditionally on the adoption of measures to be taken that guarantee the absence of groups of people and the implementation of social distancing and the establishment of a maximum attendance limit, to be determined by the local authority.

Testing in Portugal – The Director-General of Health, (DGS), Graça Freitas, announced this Saturday that Portuguese researchers will start to do immunity tests to find out which fraction of the population has acquired immunity to the new coronavirus. The UK and Germany have also announced that they will go ahead with these tests.

“Portugal is going to do studies to find out what proportion of its population has acquired immunity to this virus”, announced Graça Freitas at this Saturday’s press conference.  These immunity tests are used to see how many people have become immune after being infected with SARS-CoV-2. It is possible to find out who is immune and cannot transmit the virus.    In this way, the tests allows the detection of the group of people who can be free of imposed restrictions and return to their routine and work, helping the country to return to normality.

She also announced that the Ricardo Jorge Institute, in collaboration with academic scientists and DGS, will enter a pilot phase with other countries. The Director-General of Health, however, noted that there will be a need to understand the ideal time for these tests as perhaps it is still early, since most Portuguese people are still in the recovery phase:

Economic Recovery –  Lisbon, 05 Apr 2020 (Lusa) – University professor Miguel Poiares Maduro considers that the EU has a Marshall plan within its reach to face the effects of the covid-19 pandemic, through the issuance of debt securities guaranteed by an agreement on new own resources.  “The issuance of debt securities by the European Commission, similarly to what it has done in the past, guaranteed by new resources, such as carbon taxes and the digital economy, would provide a solution for the financing of the economic recovery, which by its volume could basically be a Marshall plan ”, the former Minister of the Government of Passos Coelho said in an interview to Lusa.

Keep up to date with major developments by visiting the SCP Facebook page and our website https://www.safecommunitiesportugal.com

 

Saturday 4th April 2020 – 0900 hrs

Overview

Yesterday was one of consolidation of the understanding by the population and indeed government of the likely effects of the new measures announced in the renewal of the State of Emergency legislation the day before. The message to the population about the severe restrictions to travel over the Easter Holiday period 9-13 April was reiterated by the Prime Minister and particularly the Secretary of State for Internal Administration – Eduardo Cabrita (right) in their speeches to journalists yesterday.

They reiterated that no non-essential travel will be permitted over this period apart from for work in essential areas of the economy and in case of an emergency. The roads will be heavily policed during this period and SCP also reiterates the message by our government that everyone should STAY AT HOME.

Health

Yesterday at 1100 hrs, the DGS announced that there were 9,886 confirmed cases (up 802 on the previous 24 hours – a slight decrease in the rate) with 246 deaths (up 37) and 68 people recovered (no change). There are nearly 75,000 suspected cases (up 6,000)

In terms of the regional breakdown in Portugal the DGS announced the following statistics:

  • North Portugal – 5,899 cases (up 561) with 130 deaths (up 23).
  • Lisboa and Vale do Tejo – 2,347 (up 140) with 51 deaths (up 7).
  • Centro – 1,286 cases (up 175) with 61 deaths (up 6).
  • Algarve – 179 cases (up 13) with 3 deaths (no change).
  • Açores – 63 cases (0 deaths).
  • Alentejo – 62 cases (up 3) with 1 death (first death).
  • Madeira – 50 cases (0 deaths).

More than 300 nurses are infected with covid-19 and 1,750 are at home under active surveillance, after having been in contact with patients, today announced the Order of Nurses (OE).  “These are the first results of the survey launched by the Order, last Tuesday, to find out the real situation of nurses who are in the line of defense of the covid-19 pandemic”, revealed the OE in a statement, in which it states that with 18 thousand responses, there are 322 infected nurses and 1,750 removed from functions, under active surveillance at home.

These professionals await the result of the test for the new coronavirus, which causes the covid-19 disease.  In just 48 hours, 18,306 nurses responded to the form, which corresponds to about 40% of the number of nurses working in the National Health Service (SNS), according to the same source

The Medical Schools Council criticized the failure to recommend the widespread use of masks. The Director-General of Health says that she will do so if these are the international recommendations, but she has just extended the use of surgical masks to professionals, even when “outside health institutions”.   On the same subject, the Government announced this Friday the purchase of 24 million surgical masks by the end of this month and 1.8 million respiratory masks by the end of May.

(Photo: Rafael Marchante – Reuters)

 

COVI-19  – Cases and Deaths Accounting in Portugal

The Prime Minister, António Costa, admitted this Friday that all cases of coronavirus infection may not have been accounted for in the deaths registered in March, which were about 600 deaths above the expected.

The prime minister’s statements were given to Rádio Renascença during an interview.  Asked about the fact that mortality increased during the past month, António Costa even mentioned that it is possible “that there are people who may have died from any other cause and who were contaminated”.

“Is it possible that there are people who may have died of other causes and were infected? Yes, it is possible. We have the example of the child who died of another disease and had Covid-19, but it was not because of Covid-19”, said the prime minister.

(Source and picture from Negoçias)

 

Thursday 3rd April 2020 – 0900 hrs

Overview and the Renewal of the State of Emergency on 2 April 2020

Yesterday, as expected, was a busy and important day constitutionally. Following debate in Parliament, the renewal of emergency legislation was passed. After the Prime Minister explained to journalists and the population watching on television what the main components of the revision were, the President issued the decree at around 2000 hours. The main changes to the legislation that was enacted on 18 March are outlines below. Please visit our Facebook page and the ´Latest News´ section of our website to see the full provisions of the new legislation enacted yesterday.

In his speech to the Nation announcing the extension of emergency powers (which under the constitution must be renewed every 15 days), the President stated that the conditions that have brought about the State of Emergency ´….will perhaps be the biggest challenge in the last 45 years´.

Prior to the President´s address, the Prime Minister Marcelo de Sousa stated that the nation needed to focus on 5 fundamental objectives:

  • The protection of at-risk groups.
  • Using common sense when implementing the release of prisoners to reduce risk to the population.
  • Not to ´exchange a few years in the life and health of everyone for a few days of vacation or extended family reunion´ over the Easter holiday´ – reiterating STAY AT HOME!
  • Asking compatriots to postpone plans to visit Portugal.
  • Defining new scenarios to undertake the coming academic year

Health

 Yesterday at 1100hrs, the DGS announced that to date there were 9,084 confirmed cases (up 833 on the previous 24 hours) with 209 deaths (up 22) and 68 people recovered. There remain nearly 69,000 suspected cases but there has been a lack of a comprehensive testing re4gime in Portugal similar to many other countries in Europe. With the global total passing 1Million yesterday and with just over 50% of these cases being in Europe, the Portuguese total represents just under 2% of the European total.  In terms of the regional breakdown in Portugal the DGS announced the following statistics:

  • North Portugal – 5,338 cases with 107 deaths
  • Lisboa and Vale do Tejo – 2,207 cases with 44 deaths
  • Centro – 1,161 cases with 55 deaths
  • Algarve – 164 cases with 3 deaths
  • Alentejo – 59 cases with no deaths

The government (Secretary of State (S of S) for health) yesterday promised to double the number of ventilators available across the country as a result of a combination of offers, loans and purchases providing 400 new ventilators ´with expected delivery soon´ according to the S of S. This will bring the total to around 900.  There are currently 240 people in intensive care according to the DGS yesterday requiring ventilators.

State of Emergency Legislation – some changes

The changes to the State of Emergency renewal legislation are worth reading in detail – of course, it is slightly legalistic but the changes are quite understandable. There have been a number of changes and some additional emergency measures brought in for a defined period.

Starting with the latter, the government announced that there will be severe restrictions to movement over the Easter Holiday period between 9-13 April in a bid to prevent elements of the population travelling by road to ´holiday destinations´ such as the South, Inland or to individual holiday homes – as has been witnessed over the previous weekends in significant numbers.

All people will not be able to travel outside their municipality that they live in unless for extreme reasons such as an emergency or for essential work amongst some other exceptions. (Please see our earlier post this morning)

In addition, new measures were announced on a small range of issues. One of these was to give a partial pardoning to prisoners serving under 2 years or coming into the last 2 years of their sentence so that they can be released on conditions that they do not re-offend.

Exceptions to the release policy will apply to those convicted of very serious crimes such as murder, violence, domestic violence and former public employees who betrayed their position in government or policing. For the full changes to the legislation consult our website ´Latest News´ and our Facebook page.

 General Enforcement Measures

Deadlines and fines for people to clear their land have been extended ahead of the fire season beyond April 15 to the end of April at the moment but it is thought that this may be further extended according to the crisis.

Aviation

 During the period 9th – 13th April, all national airports will be closed for passenger traffic. Cargo flights, humanitarian nature, Portuguese repatriation flights or State flights and military nature are maintained.

The government announced that all aircraft when they are flying may only fly at 1-3 capacity to ensure social distancing measures can be enforced.

 

Thursday 2nd April 09.00

Overview and Renewal of the State of Emergency

Today will be a very important and historic day with the first extension of the State of Emergency legislation expected to pass through Parliament later today and with a Presidential decree then to be issued by the President Sousa. The new legislation, when passed as expected, will take effect from today until 17 April when it will have to be renewed under the constitution.

Yesterday the proposed extension possibly with additional legislative regulations was passed by the Council of Ministers (COM). Prime Minister Costa, in a briefing to journalists praised the actions of the population in general for maintaining the laws that had been first enacted on 18 March.

PM Costa appeared on a popular TV morning program in the morning before the COM and urged continued discipline and restraint and said that it was a very dangerous time – he admitted that scientists did not know enough about a new strain of the virus yet – he stressed that the population will have to ´see Easter´ in a very different away this year.

Health

The DGS reported yesterday at 1130hrs (the normal time of reporting) that since the outbreak there were 8,251 confirmed cases in Portugal with 187 deaths. This represents an 11% increase on cases from the day before.   SCP – this represents about 772 cases per 1 million people.

To provide context, this compares with Italy which has a figure for 1,750 cases per million people and Spain which has 2,100 cases per million. Interestingly this is significantly more than the UK which has 454 cases per million. Globally (see the International report for further details) – there have been nearly 940,000 cases with 47250 deaths and nearly 185,000 recovered.

(Please note that this is based on the availability of testing equipment and total number of people tested – additional testing may change these figures considerably)

Portuguese Islands – The Azores Health Authority raised the number of positive cases this Wednesday to 57 of covid-19 in the region, with seven new cases detected in São Miguel and two in Graciosa, which thus registers the first infected patients. In a statement, the Regional Health Authority reports that, in São Miguel, four men, between 27 and 64 years old, and three women, between 18, 27 and 56 years old, were diagnosed with covid-19.

Five of the cases are from the same household and are within the quarantine cordon imposed since Sunday in the municipality of Povoação, on the island of São Miguel.   On Graciosa Island, the positive cases are a 76-year-old man and an 80-year-old woman, with “a history of recent joint travel abroad”.

According to the organization, “everyone is in a stable clinical situation and is currently at home”. To date, 25 cases have been detected in São Miguel, nine on Terceira, two on Graciosa, seven on São Jorge, nine on Pico and five on Faial.

State of Emergency Legislation to be voted on (from RTP.PT)

Here are the essential points of the draft decree of the President of the Republic that will be discussed and voted on in Parliament this Thursday:

Right to move and settle anywhere in the national territory

– Compulsive confinement at home, health care facility or other location defined by the authorities may be imposed.

– Sanitary fences may be imposed.

– Prohibition, “to the extent strictly necessary and proportionally”, of travel that is not justified, namely through work, obtaining health care, assistance to third parties, production and supply of goods and services and other “ponderous reasons”, it is up to the Government to specify “the situations and purposes in which the freedom of individual movement, preferably unaccompanied, remains”.

Property and private economic initiative

– The authorities can request the provision of any services and the use of goods from health units, commercial and industrial establishments, companies and other productive units.

– The mandatory opening and operation of companies, services, establishments and means of production may be determined or their closure.

– Limitations may be imposed on dismissals, changes in the quantity, nature or price of goods produced and traded or the distribution and marketing channels.

– Changes to the operating regime of companies, establishments and production units may be imposed.

– Price control measures and combating speculation or hoarding of certain products or materials can be adopted.

– The terms and conditions of long-term performance contracts may be temporarily modified or the requirement for certain installments to be waived.

– The right to restore the financial balance of concessions may be limited due to a break in the respective use resulting from the measures adopted in the context of the state of emergency.

– Income, interest, dividends and other property or capital income can be reduced or deferred, without penalty.

Workers’ rights

– It can be determined that employees of public, private or social sector entities, regardless of the type of employment, present themselves at the service and, if necessary, start to perform functions in a different place and entity and work schedule.

Workers in the health, civil protection, security and defense sectors are covered, as well as other activities necessary for the treatment of the sick, support for vulnerable populations, the elderly, people with disabilities, children and young people at risk.

The functions may be performed in residential structures, in home or street support, in support of the production, distribution and supply of essential goods and services.

– The temporary reduction scheme for normal working time can be extended and simplified

– The right of union associations to participate in the drafting of labor legislation is suspended.

– The exercise of the right to strike is suspended when it compromises the functioning of critical infrastructures, health units and essential public services, as well as in economic sectors vital to the production, supply and supply of essential goods and services.

International Circulation

– Border controls on people and goods, including sanitary and phytosanitary controls at ports and airports, can be established.

– The necessary measures can be taken to ensure the international circulation of essential goods and services.

Right to assemble and demonstrate

– The limitation or prohibition of meetings or demonstrations may be imposed.

Freedom of worship

– Religious celebrations and other worship events that involve a gathering of people may be limited or prohibited.

Freedom to learn and teach

– Face-to-face classes may be prohibited or limited.

– Distance learning may be imposed by telematic means (using the Internet or television).

– Postponement or extension of school terms may be imposed.

– Adjustment of assessment methods may be imposed.

– The suspension or rescheduling of exam tests or the opening of the school year can be determined.

– “Any adjustments” can be made to the model of access to higher education.

Right to protection of personal data

– It can be determined that telecommunications operators send their customers written messages (SMS) with alerts from the Directorate-General for Health or others related to the fight against the epidemic.

Other provisions

The perpetrators of “any and all acts of active or passive resistance” directed at the orders of the authorities may incur a crime of disobedience.

– “Exceptional and urgent protective measures” can be taken for prisoners, as well as for staff working in prisons.

– The declaration of a state of emergency does not affect the rights to life, personal integrity, personal identity, civil capacity and citizenship, non-retroactivity of criminal law, defense of defendants and freedom of conscience and religion.

– The effects of declaring a state of emergency do not affect freedom of expression and information.

– The principle of the unitary state or the territorial continuity of the state cannot be called into question.´ Translation from Portuguese article – RTP.PT online.

 

Enforcement

Despite the praise of the actions of the general population, the GNR reported that it had issued fines and made arrests of over 90 people and closed over 1600 establishments for grave infractions of the State of Emergency legislation. The GNR and PSP continued to mount road-blocks on the motorways coming out of Lisbon and Porto to ensure that all journeys being undertaken were essential and were not in an attempt to drive to ´holiday´ homes or locations in the south or inland as we are in the Easter Holiday period.

The over-riding issue being enforced by the Police agencies and border authorities is the absolute need to ´Stay at Home´ – at SCP we are really supporting this government message because unless there is strict adherence to this policy, the situation will only worsen and restrictions will inevitably have to be in place for longer.

Food Production – Problems with production flow

The National Confederation of Agriculturists  (CNA) warned yesterday of a “very serious problem” of the production flow of small and medium farmers, due to the pandemic of covid-19, calling for the reopening of local markets.

“The situation is already dramatic for many and will be a ruin for most small and medium-sized farmers if measures are not taken immediately to allow these families, who have no other income, to make a living from working in the fields,” the CNA said in a statement.

“The problems are many and need urgent answers. The measures announced by the Government, being generally positive, are very insufficient and above all because they do not reach small and medium farmers” added the CNA.

According to the confederation, this situation was enhanced by the closings of restaurants, local markets, fairs and events, eliminating the outlets for “many thousands of family farmers”.

Economy

Nearly 3,600 businesses have applied to utilize ´Lay-off´ the procedure which sees the government pay a percentage of employees’ wages during the crisis. This will affect some 75,000 workers.

TAP announced the grounding of almost all of its fleet. It will only continue to fly 5 flights a week to the Azores and Madeira in total. The Azorean airline SATA also announced the grounding of its aircraft and application for lay-off procedures for its staff

 

Wednesday 1st April 0900 hrs

Health – The DGS reported that confirmed cases rose 16.2% or 1035 cases to 7443. This is more in line with previous days except yesterday was only a 7.5% increase. DGS admitted that there had been problems with some of their numbers. For example cases in Porto had been double counted. The next month will be crucial. The peak is only expected in late May and it is projected to be more of an extended plateau, before cases start dropping off. It will still take considerable effort to maintain this plateau, before cases start decreasing. The country likely faces at least two more months of lockdown, possibly longer.

The North is hardest hit especially in Porto and the adjacent municipalities.  DGS had indicated that Porto must be closed off (cerca sanitaria) to allow authorities to better control this epicentre but this plan was over ruled by the Secretary of State for Health given the erroneous DGS numbers and the vigorous local opposition.

Also mainly in the North there continues to be many outbreaks of the disease in care homes (lares). The outbreaks are becoming more numerous and more widespread with 25 deaths in 14 municipalities. There were several operations underway on Tuesday to relocate residents and the GNR will start disinfecting vacated lares. DGS views protection of the elderly as a priority and the program to test all of the 10,000 lar health workers and residents across the country which started on Monday will help health authorities to better identify and control the spread of the virus. However, the system is desperately short of care givers for the lares.

Work continues across the country as authorities set up temporary hospitals and testing sites and municipalities organize community support systems.

An RTP report yesterday evening showed how health care workers are coping inside a hospital. It revealed the extreme personal sacrifice they are making. Not only are they understaffed, without adequate equipment and supplies and facing ever increasing workload, but many live in isolation either in or near the facilities where they work, away from their families.  When asked how the public can best help them, they each replied: stay at home!

It was announced that the 14 year old boy who died in Ovar actually died of meningitis and not COVID-19.

State of Emergency – Tuesday the President of the Republic (PR) publicly stated that containment measures must be maintained. He met throughout the morning with specialists from the Directorate-General of Health (DGS) and together they concluded that the containment measures most continue. He will meet the Council of Ministers and what results will be put to Parliament. The decision on renewing the State of Emergency will be announced on Wednesday. The decision to enter a new period of State of Emergency appears to be a certainty. What remains unknown for now are the details that the government will include in the new state of emergency.

There is also a crisis in the penal system. Guards are unprotected from the virus and prisoners fear the disease and are agitating to be out of the situation. Today opposition parties asked what plans the government has. The government will announce measures soon which may include pardoning and releasing vulnerable low-risk inmates who are near the end of their sentences into the general population. There are 12,800 prisoners in 49 institutions.

Enforcement – Police continued Operation Stop to control traffic especially in and around Lisbon, Coimbra and Porto making sure that all travel was only for essential reasons. With the warmer weather there will be a concerted effort to prevent city dwellers from spending Easter week in the Algarve or other coastal areas or in the interior. The population will need to accept that this will be a very different Easter. The clear message from Civil Protection, PSP and GNR continues to be to “Stay home, safe lives” and as they cannot be everywhere, they are appealing to the public’s sense of civic responsibility.

Cyber Crime – The pandemic is giving rise to the largest number of cyber-attacks ever seen. Tuesday Millennium bcp, EDP and Credit Agricola came under cyber-attack, but these sites were later back in operation. Also with so many people on-line cyber-criminals are able to easily fool computer users into opening suspicious links or giving away personal information. Be extremely cautious.

Air Travel – TAP Portugal will be temporarily laying off 90% of its workforce. Effective today until at least 4 May it will only operate only five flights per week: twice a week to Madeira and three times a week to the Azores. The company has pledged to continue flights to repatriate Portuguese stranded abroad and to bring urgently needed medical equipment and supplies to Portugal.

 

Tuesday 31st March 0900 hrs

Health – The DGS reported that confirmed cases rose 7.5% to 6408. This is an improvement over the 15% increase reported the day before. The next month will be crucial. The peak is only expected in late May and it is projected to be more of an extended plateau, before cases start dropping off. It will still take considerable effort to maintain this plateau, before cases start dropping. The country faces at least two more months of lockdown, possibly longer.

The North is hardest hit especially in Porto and the adjacent municipalities. DGS indicated that Porto must be closed off (cerca sanitaria) to allow authorities to better control this epicentre. Porto area municipalies and business associations strongly oppose this measure. The government will decide today how this will proceed.

Also in the North there continues to be many outbreaks of the disease in care homes (lares). The outbreaks are becoming more numerous and more widespread, even affecting a military lar in Lisbon. DGS views protection of the elderly as a priority and is starting a program to test all of the 10,000 lar health workers and residents across the country in order to better identify and control the spread using testing kits developed in Portugal.

853 medical personnel or 15% of staff have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in quarantine. Nurses are routinely working 12 hour shifts. Staff is short, supplies and equipment are low and cases keep growing. A TAP flight brought another 13 tonnes of medical supplies and equipment and 200,000 test kits from China. The bombeiros are starting to distribute 30,000 face masks to those most at risk.

State of Emergency – On Monday the President described the situation in Portugal as “dynamic” with various serious issues arising each day. He will spend today (Tuesday) consulting with experts and then meet with the government, before deciding on a new period of State of Emergency. The Prime Minister has said that emergency measures currently in place will need to continue even if there is not for some reason a subsequent period of State of Emergency. The government will need to deal with the strong objection of the Municipalities in and adjacent to Porto to the DGS decision to create a “cerca sanitaria”. Local elected officials feel that they were not consulted and that such action would harm the area. They do not respect the authority of the DGS. As elsewhere in the country on Monday police continued traffic checks to make sure only essential travel was occurring.

There is also a crisis in the penal system. Guards are unprotected from the virus, although masks are to be distributed as soon as possible starting today and prisoners fear the disease and are agitating to be out of the situation. This week the government will consider releasing vulnerable low-risk inmates who are near the end of their sentences into the general population.
Enforcement – Police continued operations to control traffic leaving Lisbon and at points within the city and around the country in an effort to get the population to stay home and refrain from unnecessary travel. With the warmer weather there will be a concerted effort to prevent city dwellers from spending Easter week in the Algarve or other coastal areas or in the interior. The population will need to accept that this will be a very different Easter. The clear message from Civil Protection, PSP and GNR continues to be to “Stay home, safe lives” and they are appealing to the public’s sense of civic responsibility.

 

Monday 30th March 1800 hrs

Covid-19: PRIME MINISTER ASKS FOR GENEROSITY TO BE ORGANISED TO AVOID WASTE

The Prime Minister today called for all donations and generosity to help fight the pandemic to be coordinated with regional health administrations, so as not to “waste any resources” as happened with other major catastrophes.

“The mobilization of all is essential, but this mobilization must be organized. It is very important that whoever wants to make donations, take initiatives, try to articulate them through the regional health administrations, under the risk of us having the concentration of many resources where they least expect them. They are necessary and to fail us essential resources where they are absolutely indispensable “, appealed António Costa.

“Because as we have seen in previous experiences, in the face of major catastrophes, when generosity is not properly organized we lose and waste resources and today we cannot waste any resources”, he warned.

The prime minister began by thanking the work of all the municipalities and universities in the country in the face of this pandemic, also emphasizing the work of the Armed Forces, which “has been extraordinary on all fronts”.

António Costa repeated a maxim he has used in relation to this crisis: “wish the best, but be prepared for the worst”.

 

Monday 30th March 1300 Hrs

MESSAGE FROM A DOG

TO ALL DOGS IN PORTUGAL – PROTECTING OUR OWNERS FROM Covid-19

In order to protect our owners and help the security services please follow this advice

Under the State of Emergency all our owners have been asked to stay at home except for essential reasons such as essential work, groceries, visits to the pharmacy or for medical reasons etc.  They are all granted limited ability to get fresh air and must observe social distancing and avoid any group activities. In normal times our beaches and parks are like magnates, attracting many people.

Across the Algarve and the west coast of Portugal local municipalities have used their powers under the State of Emergency to close beaches and adjacent parking lots and parks, as well as public parks and play areas and other public spaces across the country.

With warmer weather there will be even great temptation to be outside. However, our owners need to respect the stay at home order. They should get limited exercising in our own neighbourhoods. Us dogs should also be walked in areas adjacent to our home or ideally, where possible, on our own property. All trips to beaches, parks and public spaces for recreation or to walk us should be avoided.

A State of Emergency, especially one during a pandemic, requires all citizens to adjust their daily routines and minimize activity outside the home to a minimum. Our owners are all in this together and they must think of how their actions affect others. Our medical and emergency staff are exhausted and cannot be expected to be everywhere. Our owners can help best by staying at home. Both they and us dogs all want this situation to end, and it will end sooner, with better results, if everyone respects others and stay at home.

 

Monday 30th March 1300 hrs

Changes in SEF’s public service

03/28/2020

READ MORE HERE

Effective today (March 30) the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF) have ceased taking all client appointments. All appointments already made will be dealt with in the same chronological order, so as to promote fairness, starting July 1. All clients with applications in the system at the declaration of the National Emergency on March 18th will be considered to be properly documented until June 30. (Obviously any expiry date will need to correspond to the date that new documents are issued and we expect clarification on this at a later date.)

These provisional approvals are considered valid before all public services, namely to obtain the number of users, access to the National Health Service or other health care rights, access to social support benefits, signing of lease contracts, signing of employment contracts, opening bank accounts and contracting essential public services.

Also, visas and documents related to the stay of foreign citizens in national territory that expired after February 24, are valid until June 30. These documents, as well as the Citizen Card, Driving License, Criminal Record and Certificates, must be accepted by public authorities for all legal purposes.

SEF will continue to provide in-person assistance only for requests considered urgent. That is, citizens who need to travel or who prove the urgent need to leave the national territory, for unforeseen and unavoidable reasons and citizens who require replacement documents due to theft or loss.

Regarding the issue of passports, SEF will now accept only urgent requests.

https://www.sef.pt/pt/pages/noticia-sef.aspx?nID=785

 

Monday 30th March 0900 hrs

Health – The DGS reported that confirmed cases rose 15% to 5962. The peak is only expected in late May and it is projected to be more of an extended plateau, before cases start dropping off. The country faces at least two more months of lockdown, possibly longer. The North is hardest hit especially in Porto and the adjacent municipalities. The area will be closed off (cerca sanitaria) to allow only essential travel so as to try to contain the spread of the disease. Also in the North there continues to be outbreaks of the disease in care homes (lares). Asilo de S. José in Braga had a third resident die Sunday and has a total of 25 residents and 18 staff infected.

Among Sundays deaths were a baby and a 14 year old both with underlying conditions, demonstrating that it is not just the elderly who are at serious risk. The death rate among those over 70 years of age went up slightly prompting the DGS to state that in order to protect the vulnerable, including the elderly, the public must continue to comply with State of Emergency Measures by staying at home so as to slow the spread of the disease and thus lessen the demand on already stressed health resources.

Enforcement – Police continued Operation Stop to control traffic leaving Lisbon via the 25 of April and the Vasco da Gama bridges in an effort to condition Lisbon residents to stay home and not to exit the city for day trips to the beaches along Costa da Caparica and areas south as is very common when there is warm weather. The flow of traffic was less than Saturday and all non-essential traffic was turned back. Authorities are working hard to make sure that everyone continues to stay home, especially during the upcoming Easter Holidays. This period would normally see a huge exodus from Lisbon not just to beaches around Lisbon, but also for many seeking an Easter week holiday in the Algarve.

The Ministry of the Interior reported that as of 1800 hrs Sunday a total 70 people were apprehended for civil disobedience for not obeying the stay at home order and a total of 1546 businesses that were not essential were shut down.

Important to note: The Prime Minister has indicated that it is all but sure that a new State of Emergency period will be proclaimed on Tuesday and it is likely that further measures will be announced to make sure people stay at home.

 

Sunday 29th March 0900 hrs

Travel Restrict violations – Contrary to the warnings given by the Minister of Internal Administration yesterday, against tourist travel during Easter, there were still many cars attempting to leave the main cities, especially towards the Algarve
Examples were hundreds of cars lined up at the waterfront near Nova University, in Oeiras. Lisbon. The 25 de Abril Bridge was full of cars, almost all of which are being stopped by the PSP.
To the north, Civil Protection drones were informing people to disperse and return home.

The GNR General Command added that the police force has several operations underway, or planned, throughout the country, “in particular throughout the Algarve”, directed to places where people normally gather for the practice of activities sporting or playful.
The PSP, for its part, is trying to stop the influx of people to the Algarve from Lisbon and other areas to the north.
Beach Closure – The City Council of Portimão today banned eight kilometres of beach and coastal areas in the municipality, to avoid crowds and contain the expansion of the Covid-19 pandemic, said a source in the municipality.

The deputy mayor of Portimão, Filipe Vital, told the agency Lusa that today “there were people walking around on the jetty [in the city], Praia da Rocha and other beaches in the municipality” and, “in an unparalleled option”, the municipality has banned these areas, in collaboration with the local health authority, the Maritime Authority, the PSP, the GNR, firefighters and the Shipwrecks Aid Institute.

Health – Up to last night DGS reports there have been 5170 confirmed cases, 100 deaths and 32,754 suspected cases from the Coronavirus.
DGS Health officials are forecasting the peak of the coronavirus by the end of May. The number of infected people at that time should be more than expected in the last projection. Until then, the upward trend will continue, albeit at a slower pace. At least that’s what health officials expect.
The Minister of Health said today that volunteers with technical competence in assisting the sick and elderly in long-term care and homes will be needed to replace caregivers who need to leave due to the covid-19 pandemic.
She added that “a very intense, articulated, harmonious, timely effort” is needed by health, social security, civil protection, municipalities and the entire community in identifying cases of infection in the units of the national network of integrated continuous care and residential structures for the elderly, since they house the citizens of “greater risk”.

Enforcement – Security forces have arrested 69 people for the crime of disobedience since the beginning of the state of emergency, on March 22, decreed due to the covid-19 disease, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MAI) said today. .
In the same period, as at 18:00 Friday 1,509 establishments were closed for non-compliance with the established rules.
In relation to Friday, five more people were arrested today and ordered to close another 60 establishments.

 

Saturday 28th March 1300 hrs

This Saturday, the number of Covid-19 cases in Portugal rose from 4268 to 5170 thousand. There are 100 fatalities, 24 more than yesterday.

According to the bulletin of the epidemiological situation in the country released this Saturday by the Directorate-General for Health, the number of infected with the new coronavirus has increased to 5170, of which 418 are hospitalized and 89 are in intensive care. The number of recoveries so far remains: 43.

Awaiting laboratory results are still 4938 suspected cases and 19,927 are under surveillance by health authorities. Since the start of the pandemic in Portugal, there have been more than 32,000 suspicions.

The death toll increased by 24 (on Friday, the increase had been 16), from 76 to 100 deaths: 44 were recorded in the North, where there are 3035 cases of infection, 27 in Greater Lisbon (1287 infected) ), 28 in the Centro region (647 infected) and 1 in the Algarve (106 infected). In the Alentejo area there are 34 infected. Madeira and the Azores also remain without registered deaths, with 31 and 30 cases of infection, respectively.

In the total of confirmed cases, there are 1003 elderly people over 70 years old and 56 children under 10 years old.

The municipality of Lisboa (366) returned this Saturday to overtake that of Porto (343) in the table of the demographic characterization of confirmed cases, followed by Gaia (262), Maia (219), Matosinhos (189) and Gondomar (153).

 

Situation Report 28th March 0800 hrs

Please also read the report following this regarding “Travel Restrictions”

Stay at home – Yesterday the National Operational Commander Brigadier General Duarte da Costa of the ANEPC announced by a video in English a very clear message emphasising that the best way to combat the virus is to stay indoors.

In it he stated “with the increasing number of infected people with Covid-19, we all should follow basic rules for self-protection and for the protection of others.

Health – Portugal, as of last night, registered 76 deaths associated with Covid-19, 16 more than on Thursday, and the number of infected people rose to 4,268, according to the epidemiological bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health.

In relation to Thursday, when there were 60 deaths, on Friday there was an increase of 26.6%. During the press conference, Graça Freitas stated that at this moment, Portugal has a mortality rate of 1.8% for all ages – a lower number than other countries where the lethality rate has already exceeded 2%.

Although the first forecasts point to the peak taking place in April, Graça Freitas estimated that May as crucial, “With the evolution of our curve, the peak will be deferred for later, never before the month of May.”

Enforcement – Security forces have detained 64 people since the beginning of the state of emergency, on March 22, for the crime of disobedience, and ordered 1,449 establishments to close, according to a balance sheet released today by the Ministry of Internal Administration.

The Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) today gave guidelines to the PSP and GNR to intensify road enforcement during the weekend and throughout the Easter period, especially towards the Algarve.

In a statement, the Ministry stated that “only citizens who do so under the exceptions provided for in the general duty to collect” will be allowed to travel within the scope of the state of emergency decreed because of the pandemic of Covid-19.

The reinforcement of inspection on Portuguese roads, especially towards the Algarve, was one of the conclusions of the third meeting of the state of emergency monitoring structure, which took place this afternoon at MAI.

Surveillance by security forces – Will strengthen this weekend in places where many people usually gather. GNR and PSP will guarantee the fulfilment of the General Duty to Collecting information, within the scope of the state of emergency that is in force in Portugal due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The PSP will have a strong reinforcement of means, with a more significant presence in the areas where it is usual to gather more people at the weekend, such as riverside areas and beaches, walkways by the sea, gardens and public leisure spaces, according to told the police

Military – A Military Laboratory is, as of today, ready to carry out diagnostic tests for confirmation of Covid-19, announced the Army.

The announcement that the Military Laboratory would start testing was made by the Minister of National Defence, João Gomes Cravinho, after a visit to the facilities, on March 13, the “laboratory technique” being dependent on validation by the National Institute of Health Doctor Ricardo Jorge (INÇA), which has already happened.

 

Situation Report 28th March 0800 hrs

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS OUTSIDE YOUR HOME

With Easter holidays are approaching and people who had trips already planned for this time of year will have to change plans, since we are living in a state of emergency, with restrictive measures stated Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita    .

THe made it known that this Friday he gave “guidelines to the Security Forces to intensify road surveillance during the weekend and throughout the Easter period, especially towards the Algarve “.

He stated travel outside your home is ONLY allowed in the following situations:

“• Acquisition of goods and services;

  • Travel to professional or similar activities;
  • Job search or response to job offer;
  • Travel for health reasons, namely obtaining health care and transporting people to whom such care or blood donation should be administered;
  • Displacement for emergency reception of victims of domestic violence or trafficking in human beings, children and young people at risk, by applying a measure decreed by a judicial authority or Commission for the Protection of Children and Youth, in a residential or family foster home;
  • Travel to assist vulnerable or disabled people, children, parents, elderly or dependents;
  • Travel to accompany minors and for other imperative family reasons, namely sharing parental responsibilities as determined by agreement between their holders or by the competent court;
  • Visits to visits, when authorized, or delivery of essential goods to people who are disabled or deprived of their freedom of movement;
  • Participation in procedural acts with the judicial entities;
  • Travel to post offices and post offices, bank branches and agencies of insurance brokers or insurance companies;
  • Short trips for physical activity (the exercise of collective physical activity is prohibited) or for walking pets and feeding animals;
  • Travel to social volunteering actions;
  • Travel of persons with a free pass issued under legal terms, in the exercise of their respective functions and personnel of diplomatic, consular missions and international organizations located in Portugal, as long as they are related to the performance of official functions;
  • Travel required to exercise press freedom;
  • Other activities of a similar nature or for other reasons of force majeure or imperative necessity, as long as they are duly justified “.

 

 

Situation Report 27th March 20.00 hrs

The Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) today gave guidelines to the PSP and GNR to intensify road enforcement during the weekend and throughout the Easter period, especially towards the Algarve.

In a statement, the Ministry under the tutelage of Eduardo Cabrita recalls that “only citizens who do so under the exceptions provided for in the general duty to collect” will be allowed to travel within the scope of the state of emergency decreed because of the pandemic of covid-19 .

The reinforcement of inspection on Portuguese roads, especially towards the Algarve, was one of the conclusions of the third meeting of the state of emergency monitoring structure, which took place this afternoon at MAI.

“Since they call into question the health of themselves and the health of the Portuguese, the so-called weekend trips will not be tolerated”, states the MAI, appealing to all Portuguese to remain at home, “limiting travel to the strict required”.

The “general duty of recollection” allows citizens in general to leave home to purchase goods and services, travel to professional or similar activities, looking for work or responding to job offers and travel for health reasons, namely obtaining care health and transportation of persons to whom such care or blood donation should be administered;

During the state of emergency, the general population can also take to the streets to assist vulnerable or disabled people, children, parents, elderly or dependents, for short-term physical activity (collective physical activity is prohibited) or to stroll of companion animals and voluntary actions.

There are also planned trips for the emergency reception of victims of domestic violence or trafficking in human beings, children and young people at risk, delivery of essential goods to people who are disabled or deprived of their freedom of movement, participation in procedural acts with the judicial entities and displacement to post offices and post offices, bank agencies and insurance broker or insurance agency.

Chaired by Eduardo Cabrita, the State of Emergency Monitoring Structure includes representatives of the security forces and services and secretaries of state from the governmental areas of Economy, Foreign Affairs, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, National Defense, Public Administration, Health, Environment, Infrastructure and Housing and Agriculture.

Portugal, where the first confirmed cases of Covid-19 were registered on March 2, is in a state of emergency until April 2, with the security forces and services responsible for overseeing the measures in force.

Situation Report 27th March 1400 hrs

Portugal today registers 76 deaths associated with covid-19, 16 more than on Thursday, and the number of infected people rose to 4,268, according to the epidemiological bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health.

The epidemiological situation report in Portugal, with data updated until midnight on Wednesday, indicates that the North region is the one with the highest number of deaths (33), followed by the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region (24 ), the Centro region (18) and the Algarve (1).

In relation to Thursday, when there were 60 deaths, today there was an increase of 26.6%.

According to the same data, there are 4,268 confirmed cases, plus 724 (an increase of 20.4%) compared to Thursday.

During the press conference, Graça Freitas stated that at this moment, Portugal has a lethality rate of 1.8% for all ages – a lower number than other countries where the lethality rate has already exceeded 2%.

“It is the natural history of these patients,” says the Director-General for Health. “They were treated with best practices, but some were unable to survive.”

“We still have few recovered because it takes a long time to recover.”

Questioned about the evolution of the patient curve, Graça Freitas says that “there is a tendency to slow down the speed with which the curve is rising a little” and that, as this happens, “the peak differs in time forwards”.

Although the first forecasts point to the peak taking place in April, Graça Freitas now considers May as crucial, “With the evolution of our curve, the peak will be deferred for later, never before the month of May.”

However, safeguarding, “it will never be an instantaneous moment in time” – that is, it will not be so much a peak, but a “plateau”. “When we reach the maximum of the cases of the curve, it will take us a few days, maybe even weeks

 

Of the 76 deaths recorded, 43 were over 80 years old, 18 were aged between 70 and 79 years old, 10 between 60 and 69 years old and four between 50 and 59 years old.

DGS data state that Porto is the city that registers the highest number of cases for the SARSCov2 coronavirus (317), followed by Lisbon (284 cases), Vila Nova de Gaia (262), Maia (171), Gondomar (149) and Ovar (145) and Braga (131).

Since January 1, there are 25,431 suspected cases, of which 3,995 are awaiting laboratory results.

This bulletin records the first 24 hours of the epidemiological situation in Portugal since the country entered the mitigation phase, in which, according to the rules of the DGS, any citizen with symptoms related to the disease will be considered as a suspect and tested, even without connection to other suspected or confirmed cases.

This is the third and most serious phase of response to the covid-19 disease and is activated when there is local transmission, in a closed environment, and / or community transmission.

The epidemiological bulletin also indicates that there are 17,168 cases in which the test result was negative and that 43 patients recovered.

Of the 4,268 people infected with the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the vast majority (3,914) are recovering at home, 354 (more 163) are hospitalized, 71 (more 10) of whom are in Intensive Care Units.

The North region continues to register the highest number of infections, totaling 2,443, followed by the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region, with 1,110, from the Centro region (520), from the Algarve (99) and from the Alentejo, which today has 30 cases.

There are also 24 people infected with covid-19 in the Azores, 21 in Madeira and 21 cases of citizens residing abroad.

DGS also records 19,816 contacts under surveillance by the authorities.

The age group most affected is 40 to 49 years old (821), followed by 50 to 59 years old (775), 30 to 39 years old (671) and 60 to 69 years old (613).

There are also 49 cases of children aged up to nine years old, 104 of young people aged between 10 and 19 years old and 433 aged between 20 and 29 years old.

The data also indicate that there are 415 cases of people aged between 70 and 79 years old and 383 over 80 years old.

According to the DGS report, 105 cases result from the importation of the virus from Spain, 72 from France, 27 from the United Kingdom, 22 from Switzerland, 21 from Italy, 17 from the United Arab Emirates, 13 from Andorra, eight from Brazil, seven from Germany , five from Belgium, four from Austria, three from India, two from the USA, two from Egypt and two from Argentina.

 

Situation Report 27th March 0900 hrs

As of yesterday 26th last night there were 3544 confirmed cases and 60 deaths an increase of 17 deaths since the previous day.
Suspected case registered an increase of 1102 cases bring the total to 22,257 much lower than the previous period (25th to 25th) when there 5681 new suspected cases.

DGS reported the number of the President of the Republic stated yesterday that on Tuesday 31st March there will be a meeting with policy makers and experts before a decision on the state of emergency.
And it will be considered, obviously, by me, in dialogue with the Prime Minister and, therefore, with the Government, and in dialogue with the parliament, exactly what is necessary for the next 14 days: if it is necessary, in addition to renewing the state of emergency, add another point or another, or not.

The Government approved the suspension until September of the payment of housing loans and loans from companies, to families and companies with falling income due to the crisis caused by the covid-19 outbreak.
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, enacted on Thursday the diplomas that establish measures to protect the credits of families and companies, and to protect jobs, following the pandemic of the covid-19 disease

.
According to information published on the website of the Presidency of the Republic, the head of state enacted the diploma that establishes the exceptional measures of “protection of the credits of families, companies, private institutions of social solidarity and other entities of the social economy”, as well as a “special regime of personal guarantees of the State”.
The Government approved this Thursday the suspension until September of the payment of loans for housing and credits for companies, for families and companies with falling income due to the crisis caused by the outbreak of covid-19.
The prime minister announced yesterday that he wanted to “give visibility to the capacity for initiative and voluntarism of organizations that have adapted their activity to the production of essential goods to fight the pandemic”

.
The Prime Minister, António Costa, visited industrial centres in Famalicão and Matosinhos that have adapted their activity to produce medical equipment considered essential for combating Covid-19, such as ventilators.
DGS stated last night that the next days are going to be “turbulent” and asks for everyone’s understanding.
Fifty-four people were detained, until 6 pm today, for the crime of disobedience, the Government announced in an updated report on the failure to comply with the state of emergency due to the pandemic of the covid-19.
Those detained were for violation of the obligation of mandatory confinement and for “other situations of disobedience or resistance”, says the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in a note to the media, adding that 1031 establishments were closed for “non-compliance with the established rules.

A project implemented by the Porto City Council will test the elderly and employees from all homes in the city for the new coronavirus. The screening should be completed within a week.
Those who test negative for Covid-19 will be transferred with the support of the Firefighters of Porto to the clean spaces in the Super Bock Arena and Pousada da Juventude.
The analyses will be carried out with the support of São João and Santo António hospitals, as well as the city’s health centres.

The home of N.ª S.ª das Dores, in Vila Real, started to be evacuated during the night. Users were transferred to the Centro Hospitalar de Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro. Of the 75 tests performed on residents and employees of the home, 25 tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Update 26th mars

Nine out of ten respondents in a study released today say they only leave home when it is absolutely necessary and 83% confess that they have already felt sad or anxious due to the social isolation needed to fight the covid- 19.

The Covid-19 Barometer, a partnership between the National School of Public Health (ENSP) / Expresso, is a research project that follows the evolution of the pandemic in Portugal and whose first results were released today.

To this end, an online questionnaire was launched on March 21 to assess, on a weekly basis, the perception of citizens regarding risk, the responsiveness of authorities and health services, compliance with the measures enacted and impacts on individual daily life.

The results of “Week 1 of the survey”, which took place between 21 and 26 March and which had 100,000 responses, reveal that about 92% of people say they are at home and only leave in case of “absolute necessity”, with the women (65%) and respondents over 65 (97.7%) in prominence.

Most of the survey participants (51.7%) said they were “confident” or “very confident” in the response capacity of health services, with those over 65 leading this result (73.5%), he says ENSP in a statement.

About 83% confess that they have already felt “down, agitated, anxious or sad due to physical distance measures”, with more than 26% reporting feeling this way daily or almost every day, especially women (67.5%).

When analyzing the data by age group, there is a difference between people over 65, who report never experiencing these feelings, and the youngest, between 16 and 25 years old, who confess to having these feelings every day.

The data also indicates that around 40% of respondents say they fear that there will be an interruption in the supply of basic necessities due to the current situation, in a similar proportion between men and women and a balanced distribution between age groups.

With regard to the fear of losing income due to the current situation related to covid-19, 60% of the participants confessed to being afraid of this situation. Only the age group over 65 reports less concern.

In total, 63,129 women (64.1%) and 35,285 men (35.8%) responded. A large part of the sample (48,767) was between 26 and 45 years old, followed by 36,560 aged between 36 and 65 years old, 7,706 between 16 and 25 years old and 5,473 over 65 years old.

The objective of the project is “to follow the opinion of these people weekly, to understand the evolution as the epidemic unfolds, to understand its impact on people’s perceptions”.

The National School of Public Health, which calls for everyone to participate in completing the questionnaire, notes that “these results concern a questionnaire that is being applied online, so there is a possibility that it will not reach all fractions of the population” .

“These results relate to the first responses of a study that is underway, so the results must still be interpreted with the necessary caution”, he stresses, adding that “they only reflect the responses of the participants, and should not be generalized to the Portuguese population. ”.

Situation Report 26th March 1200 hrs

National civil protection emergency plan underway

The National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (ANEPC) put the orange, the second most serious of the scale, on the orange, the districts of Lisbon, Porto and Braga due to the covid-19 pandemic, the entity announced this Wednesday.

In a press conference, the National Commander of Civil Protection, Duarte Costa, said that the decision to raise the state of alert is due to the fact that those districts are the ones that present more risks and more cases of infections.

The measure, he continued, aims to mitigate the effects of the pandemic and implies greater readiness and availability of Civil Protection resources.

“Of the 18 possible plans to activate in mainland Portugal, we have 10 active district plans, namely Aveiro,, Bragança, Coimbra, Faro, Guarda, Leiria, Porto, Santarém, Vila Real and Viseu. This accounting is not final, and may change at any time” said Duarte Costa.

The national and district operational coordination centers are working around the clock and within the scope of the contingency plans, ANEPC has created “strategic reserves”, both of logistical resources and above all human resources, so that if service operators become, for example, sick others can move forward.

Duarte Costa said that the ANEPC’s response capacity has “worked perfectly” and that it is prepared for possible new measures within the scope of the disease mitigation phase, announced by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), as of Thursday.

He then made a national appeal that the best way to contain the virus is to stay at home.

 

Situation Report 26th March 0900 hrs

Duarte Costa, National Commander, National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC) gave a briefing on the Civil Protection National Emergency Plan which was put into action yesterday. Three districts, Porto, Braga and Lisbon are in Orange Alert given the extent of the pandemic in these areas. All three have high numbers of infected citizens and deaths and high incidences of risks. 10 other districts on the continent, including the Algarve (Faro District), are in Yellow Alert. (Red is the maximum.)

The health authorities in these regions have announced that anyone arriving in the following districts from abroad at a land, sea or air border, will be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for a period of 14 days: The Algarve (Faro) & The North (Viana do Castelo, Braga, Vila Real, Bragança, Porto, Aveiro, Viseu).

As the pandemic has now been starting to grow as a result of community transmission rather than simply by being imported into each of the districts ANEPC resources are being mobilized to assist the National Health Directorate (DGS) as the public health pandemic emergency plan enters the Mitigation stage.

At mid-night Thursday March 26 the National Health Directorate (DGS) moved to stage 3 of the Pandemic Emergency Plan which is Mitigation. This stage signals that the pandemic is now spreading mostly by contact within the community rather than by isolated cases originating from outside the community. This is the highest level of alert and response and is also the most grave.

Internally the DGS will be modifying the way they fight the pandemic which may cause some initial internal disruption in the way that the health system has been organized in the battle until now. DGS is confident that this expected challenge will be met.

The Mitigation stage is the highest level of alert and response under the Pandemic Emergency Plan as authorities work hard to fight the spread of the virus and minimize as much as possible the number of deaths. ANEPC will be working closely with district health and emergency services to support these efforts, particularly in the three Orange Alert districts.

PSP and GNR have detained 39 people today for disobedience to the state of emergency decreed due to the covid-19 pandemic and closed 649 establishments for non-compliance, announced the Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI).

In a statement, MAI states that the National Republican Guard and the Public Security Police have been developing, since 00:00 on March 22, “an intense activity of awareness, surveillance and inspection among the population”, in compliance to the determinations of the decree that regulates the state of emergency.

Twelve policemen and three technicians without police functions are infected with the new coronavirus and about 450 members of the Public Security Police are in quarantine, that security force said today.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Augusto Santos Silva said yesterday that additional measures to support businesses and families will be approved by the Council of Ministers on Thursday, ensuring that those already approved will be on the ground “as soon as possible”.

“In addition to the measures that we have taken and continue to take in order to improve the response capacity of the National Health Service, we have also been taking and we will take measures to support the economy, companies and families again tomorrow”, reinforced the minister.

Situation Report 26th March 0800 hrs

The covid-19 pandemic mitigation phase came into force today in Portugal, as determined by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), involving the entire health system, public and private.

The preparation of hospitals and health centers for covid-19 is defined in a rule that establishes the model for approaching the person with suspected infection or with infection, during the screening, referral and treatment of cases.

The mitigation phase is the third and most severe response to the covid-19 disease and is activated when there is local transmission, in a closed environment, and / or community transmission.

The answer is focused on mitigating the effects of the disease and reducing its spread, namely by minimizing associated mortality.

In this phase, light patients stay at home, moderates go to health centers, the serious, but not critical, are referred to hospitals and critics are hospitalized.

Health centers and hospitals will have areas dedicated to the covid-19 disease.

In hospitals with pediatric services, “it may be appropriate to reorganize services” to “dedicate hospital units exclusively to the treatment of patients with covid-19 in pediatric age, after the response capacity of the identified reference hospitals for the treatment of patients is exhausted. covid-19 pediatric patients “.

According to the DGS standard for the mitigation phase, people with suspected infection are tested for covid-19, that is, those who present symptoms such as fever, persistent cough or aggravated chronic cough and difficulty breathing.

However, in case it is not possible to test everyone with suspected covid-19, DGS has defined a priority chain: first, it is patients with criteria for hospitalization; second, newborns and pregnant women; third, health professionals with symptoms.

This is followed by patients with comorbidities (such as asthmatics, heart failure, diabetics, chronic liver or kidney patients, people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and patients with cancer) or people with more fragile immunity; and people in a situation of greater vulnerability, such as living in nursing homes or in convalescent units.

Finally, people in close contact with these patients are tested.

 

Situation Report 25th March 20.00 hrs

National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC)- Press Briefing

Carnaxide HQ, 1800 hrs Wednesday March 25, 2020

Civil Protection National Emergency Plan

Duarte Costa, National Commander, National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC) gave a briefing on the Civil Protection National Emergency Plan which was put into action yesterday. Three districts, Porto, Braga and Lisbon are in Orange Alert given the extent of the pandemic in these areas. All three have high numbers of infected citizens and deaths and high incidences of risks.10 other districts on the continent, including the Algarve (Faro District), are in Yellow Alert. (Red is the maximum.)

Mitigation Stage of the DGS Pandemic Plan

As the pandemic has now been starting to grow as a result of community transmission rather than simply by being imported into each of the districts ANEPC resources are being mobilized to assist the National Health Directorate (DGS) as the public health pandemic emergency plan enters the Mitigation stage. The Mitigation stage is the highest level of alert and response under the Pandemic Emergency Plan as authorities work hard to fight the spread of the virus and minimize as much as possible the number of deaths. ANEPC will be working closely with district health and emergency services to support these efforts, particularly in the three Orange Alert districts.

Stay at Home

The National Commander closed the briefing by stressing how critical it is that everyone not involved in health care, emergency services and the provision of essential goods and service to stay home. Each person that stays home helps to break the contagion spread.

 

Situation Report 25th March 1700 hrs

DGS ANNOUNCES THAT PORTUGAL WILL MOVE INTO “MITIGATION PHASE” TOMORROW

The Secretary of State for Health revealed that Portugal is about to enter the most critical phase of the pandemic. The country recorded 43 fatalities and nearly 3,000 infected.

Ministry of Health announced, in a press conference, that the country will enter the coronavirus “mitigation phase” as of 00:00 this Thursday.

The Government has warned that Portugal is going to enter the “most critical phase” of the battle against Covid-19 and, therefore, an increased responsibility is required of everyone.

The director-general of Health also said that starting at midnight on Wednesday, a new plan to address the covid-19 will start operating.

“We are going to move from the measures of the containment phase to the measures of the mitigation phase. As with all changes, the transition phase may have some turbulence” because “one does not change the assistance paradigm overnight without turbulence”.

As of 00:00, hospitals and health centres will have to adapt to new rules to respond to this phase.

Remember that Portugal, where the first confirmed cases of Covid-19 were registered on March 2, is in a state of emergency from 00:00 on March 19 until 23:59 on April 2.

António Sales guaranteed that 80 thousand tests should arrive in Portugal until this Sunday. Asked by journalists about screening Covid-19 in nursing homes, Graça Freitas guaranteed that with the transition from the containment phase to the mitigation phase, homes will be able to turn to the private sector. “We are going to extend the testing offer to everyone,” he said.

 

Situation Report – 25th March 1300 hrs

The epidemiological bulletin released today records a total of 43 deaths – 10 more than on Tuesday – of which 20 in the North region, 10 in the Center region, 12 in the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region and one in the Algarve.

Of the 2,995 people infected with the new coronavirus (633 more than on Tuesday), the vast majority (2,719) are recovering at home, according to DGS, which records 276 hospitalized people (over 73), 61 of whom are in Intensive Care (13 more).

Since January 1, 21,155 suspected cases have been registered, of which 1,591 are awaiting laboratory results. There were also 16,569 cases in which the tests did not confirm the infection and 22 patients who have already recovered.

The DGS bulletin indicates that there are 13,624 contacts under surveillance by health authorities.

More than half of deaths associated with covid-19 in Portugal are from people over 80, according to the bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), which records 25 deaths in this age group .

DGS data indicate that 13 men and 12 women (58.1% of the total) aged over 80 years died.

Between the ages of 70 and 79 the authorities recorded seven deaths (men), the same number for the 60 to 69 age group.

The youngest patients with death associated with covid-19 were between 50 and 59 years old (three men and one woman).

The North region continues to register the highest number of infections, totaling 1,517, followed by the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region (992), the Centro region (363), the Algarve (62) and the Alentejo (12).

There are 16 cases in Madeira and 17 in the Azores. The bulletin also reports on 11 infected people living abroad.

The data indicate that there are 46 cases resulting from the import of the virus from Spain, 30 from France, 20 from Italy, 13 from Switzerland, 12 from the United Kingdom, six from the Netherlands, five from Brazil, five from Andorra, four from Austria, three from the United Arab Emirates, three from India, two from Germany, one from Belgium, one from Germany and Austria, one from Iran, one from Egypt, one from Denmark and one from Argentina.

Regarding the distribution of the number of infected people by age group, there are 551 confirmed cases in people between 40 and 49 years old, followed by 50 to 59 years old (535) and patients aged between 30 and 39 (490 ).

Between 60 and 69 years old there are 424 infected patients and between 70 and 79 there are 276 patients. The bulletin also records 260 people over the age of 80 infected with the new coronavirus.

Among the youngest, there are 348 aged between 20 and 29 years and 77 between 10 and 19 years old. Up to nine years of age, there are 34 children with Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

 

Situation Report – 25th March 0900 hrs

Summary

DGS announced yesterday afternoon 2,362 cases of Covid-19 have so far been registered in Portugal, 302 more than on Monday a daily increase of 14.6%.

Majority (1015 of 1338) of the cruise ship passengers in Lisbon have already been repatriated

PSP and GNR have been enforcing the rules of the emergency: 27 detentions for individuals not practicing social distancing and 274 unauthorized businesses closed. In general there is very good compliance.

Has been a flow of Portuguese coming to the Algarve to occupy their summer homes. Authorities want to discourage this as it could contribute to spreading the disease and putting a high load on local health services

Several homes for old people in the north have been extremely short staffed putting the elderly at very high risk. Authorities are responding.
Prime Minister indicated that schools will need to continue to be closed well beyond Easter. We must be ready for a longer shut down.

In detail

The Minister of Home Affairs announced yesterday that between 00:00 on Sunday and 20:00 on 24th March, 27 arrests were registered for “violation of the rules” of the state of emergency enacted due to the pandemic of the covid-19 disease.

The government official was speaking to journalists during a press conference at the end of the second meeting of the State of Emergency Monitoring Structure, where he added that 274 commercial establishments were also closed “for violating the obligation to suspend activity”.
In the epidemiological bulletin released this Tuesday with the balance of the numbers of the new coronavirus in Portugal, the Directorate-General for Health advanced a total of 30 dead, one of whom in the Azores.

This afternoon, the Regional Health Authority clarified that, to date, no deaths have been reported by Covid-19 in the Azores. She also stated that a death recorded on Monday at the Hospital do Divino Espírito Santo, in Ponta Delgada, is not related to the pandemic.
All citizens returning from abroad or from other areas of the country and settling in the Guarda region are required to comply with a 14-day prophylactic isolation, it was announced today.

In a statement, the coordinating health delegate of the Public Health Unit of the Local Health Unit (ULS) of Guarda, Ana Isabel Correia Viseu, made public the determination, “in view of the current epidemiological situation of infection by covid-19”.

The Food and Economic Security Authority announced today that it has identified an importer and distributor of gel alcohol from Lisbon due to price speculation, which reached 490%, and sent the case to the Public Ministry.

Situation Report update 24th March 2300 hrs

All citizens returning from abroad or from other areas of the country and settling in the Guarda region are required to comply with a 14-day prophylactic isolation, it was announced today.

In a statement, the coordinating health delegate of the Public Health Unit of the Local Health Unit (ULS) of Guarda, Ana Isabel Correia Viseu, made public the determination, “in view of the current epidemiological situation of infection by covid-19”.

According to Ana Isabel Correia Viseu, taking into account the situation, “it is urgent that measures are taken to contain maximum possible risk of contagion, implementing mechanisms for rapid response”.

The health delegate determines that “all citizens who return from abroad and / or from other regions of the country remain in prophylactic isolation for a period of 14 days, counting from the day of their arrival”.

Situation Report – 24th March 2200 hrs

The Minister of Home Affairs announced today that between 00:00 on Sunday and 20:00 today, 27 arrests were registered for “violation of the rules” of the state of emergency enacted due to the pandemic of the covid-19 disease.

“Until 8 pm today, 27 arrests were recorded for violations of the defined rules or for personal isolation or for the repeated failure to comply with the recommendations made by the security forces,” said Eduardo Cabrita.

The government official was speaking to journalists during a press conference at the end of the second meeting of the State of Emergency Monitoring Structure, where he added that 274 commercial establishments were also closed “for violating the obligation to suspend activity”.

The Minister of Home Affairs stressed that the security forces have verified the practice of a set of behaviours that are “absolutely unacceptable”.

“Physical activities, walking, which are encouraged, must be done in the area of ​​residence. That is, there is absolutely no reason to travel by car to areas for practicing walking, especially when this happens in areas where a large number of people can easily be concentrated ”, warned Eduardo Cabrita.

The official stressed that the “risk of contagion by covid-19 is the same in all areas of the country”, and, therefore, the danger of “having a gathering at the door of an establishment in a large city or around a small village coffee is exactly the same ”.

Eduardo Cabrita also stressed that “the rules on the closure of activity and the limitation of activity (catering) to the supply of food for take-away, take-away or at home, are absolute”.

The minister pointed out, however, that there was “a significant tranquility regarding the respect for rules of isolation and social distance”, which are fundamental to “prevent the spread” of Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV -2).

The head of the Internal Administration portfolio also pointed out that the border control that is being carried out by the Portuguese and Spanish authorities was highlighted by the European Union “as an example of a restoration of border control that has allowed a great fluidity in the functioning of the economic circuits that based on the transportation of goods ”.

The minister also said that the State of Emergency Monitoring Structure will meet again in person during Friday afternoon.

The covid-19 has already caused 33 deaths in Portugal and 2,362 cases of infection with the new coronavirus are registered, according to the assessment made today by the Directorate-General for Health.

Portugal, where the first confirmed cases were registered on March 2nd, is in a state of emergency from 00:00 on March 19th until 23:59 on April 2nd.

 

Situation Report – 24 March 2020 – 0900 hrs

The Department for Health (DGS) reported that there were 2060 positive cases with 23 deaths. There remains 47 people in intensive care. The breakdown of cases reported was as follows:

North – 1007
Central – 238
Lisbon Region – 737
Alentejo – 5
Algarve – 42

It was reported that a further 8 people had been arrested and detained for grave infractions of the state of emergency movement restrictions.

The government announced that 4 million masks will be delivered this week in Portugal.
The figures for Portugal are normally updated at 1100 each day so these figures will rise in today´s government announcement.

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister António Costa will meet today with epidemiologists to get to know the current portrait of the Covid-19 outbreak. At the meeting, behind closed doors, will also be all political leaders, employers and unions. The meeting will bring together all the organs of sovereignty, party forces and social partners, at 10 am, in Lisbon, according to an information note from the prime minister’s office. This meeting takes place hours before the fortnightly debate with Costa in Parliament, scheduled for 3 pm.

The PSP reported complications in delivering policing services as they now have 6 infections and 250 officers in quarantine. The GNR reported that it has 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Portuguese supermarkets are being encouraged to have specific times set aside for essential workers such as health and Police workers.

Four flights have been organized today to repatriate the passengers of a cruise ship docked in Lisbon.

 

Situation Report 1300 hrs Monday 23rd March

 

Portugal has 23 confirmed deaths associated with the covid-19 virus, nine more than on Sunday, and 2,060 infected people, according to today’s bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).

Nine deaths are confirmed in the North region, five in the Center region, eight in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region and one in the Algarve, reveals the epidemiological bulletin released today, with data referring to Sunday 24:00.

Of the 2,060 people infected with the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the vast majority (1,859) are recovering at home, 201 are hospitalized, 47 of whom are in intensive care units.

According to DGS data, there are 460 more confirmed cases (22.3%) of infection with the new coronavirus, which causes the covid-19 disease, than on Sunday.

Since January 1, there have been 13,674 suspected cases, of which 1,402 are awaiting laboratory results. There were also 10,212 cases in which the tests did not confirm the infection and 14 patients who have already recovered.

According to the report on the epidemiological situation in Portugal, there are 11,842 contacts under surveillance by health authorities (minus 720, compared to Sunday).

The North region continues to register the highest number of infections, totaling 1,007, followed by the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region (737), the Centro region (238), the Algarve (42) and the Alentejo (five cases).

There are nine cases in Madeira and 11 in the Azores. The bulletin also reports 11 cases of foreigners.

DGS data indicate that there are 44 cases resulting from the import of the virus from Spain, 26 from France, 20 from Italy, 11 from Switzerland, 11 from the United Kingdom, six from the Netherlands, five from Brazil, four from Austria, three from United Arab Emirates, three from India, two from Germany, two from Andorra, one from Belgium, one from Germany and Austria, one from Iran, one from Egypt and one from Denmark.

Among infected patients, 1,080 are women and 980 men. The age group most affected is 40 to 49 years old (404 people), followed by 50 to 59 years old (361) and 30 to 39 years old (347).

There are also 25 cases of children aged up to nine years, 66 of young people aged between 10 and 19 and 240 aged between 20 and 29 years old.

The data also indicate that there are 294 people aged between 60 and 69 and 200 between 70 and 79. There are also 143 people aged over 80.

According to DGS, information on symptoms is only available in 46% of confirmed cases. In these cases, 72% have a cough, 60% of patients have a fever, 42% muscle pain, 34% headache, 28% general weakness and 23% difficulty breathing.

Situation report for 0900 hrs – Monday 23 March 2020

The following figures have been taken from official governmental websites and a selection of useful commercial sites – today these have included Politico.Com, The Health Ministry (DGS), Times Newspaper, RTP Noticias, rtp.pt, SIC Portuguese news station, corona.help.

There DGS issued the following figures for confirmed cases and deaths as of midnight 22 March 2020: There have been over 1600 confirmed cases and 14 deaths. Five people have recovered. The regional breakdown of positive cases is as follows:

Northern Portugal – 825
Central Portugal – 180
Lisbon area – 534
Alentejo – 5
Algarve 35

Islands:

Açores – 4
Madeira – 7

At a Government news conference Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that 7 people had been arrested and detained for grave infractions of the State of Emergency provisions.

The Government has been building a drive-through COVID-19 test centre at the Stadium Algarve.  Please see our Situation Report Algarve page

TAP will reduce its activity as of this Monday. With the pandemic, the company cut back on destinations. The reduction will be greater than the 15 predicted since countries like Angola, Cape Verde, São Tomé or Brazil are not accepting flights.

TAP will still fly on Tuesday to the city of Praia, to Sal in Cape Verde and also to São Tomé, to repatriate Portuguese citizens.

So far there are no passengers on the cruise ship that arrived in Lisbon with covid-19, or any suspicious case, and after the Portuguese landed, they will be quarantined, the Port of Lisbon said today. .

The cruise ship MCS Fantasia, operated by MSC Cruises, docked at 9:00 am in the port of Lisbon, after leaving March 9 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, bound for Europe.

Aboard 1,338 passengers of 39 nationalities (including Portuguese) and 1,247 crew members of 50 nationalities.

Situation report 20th March 22 00 hrs

Communiqué of the Council of Ministers of March 20, 2020

The Council of Ministers today approved a set of extraordinary and urgent measures to respond to the epidemiological situation of the new Coronavirus-COVID 19.

  1. A decree-law was approved that attributes powers to the Directorate-General for Health and the Central Administration of the Health System to spend on strengthening equipment, goods and services to respond to the COVID-19 disease pandemic, as for example, fans, personal protective equipment or diagnostic support material.
  2. A draft law was approved, to be submitted to the Assembly of the Republic, which establishes an exceptional and temporary regime for counting the terms of housing and non-housing lease contracts.

In view of the epidemiological situation caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease COVID-19, it is important to recognize that the limitation imposed on the freedom of movement of people, makes it crucial to guarantee the possible stability in their lives, right rom the maintenance in force of the lease agreements entered into.

  1. A decree-law was approved that establishes exceptional and temporary measures related to the electronic communications sector, and that simplifies and suspends some obligations in order to ensure the uninterrupted provision of such critical services to the population.

The circumstances of the epidemiological situation, as well as the measures taken to deal with it, lead to a substantial increase in traffic from fixed and mobile networks, due to the widespread use of telework and a more intensive use of interactive and entertainment services.

It is particularly important to ensure the continuity of the provision of electronic communications services to priority customers, such as healthcare providers, security and internal administration forces and services.

  1. A decree-law was also approved that establishes an exceptional and temporary regime for complying with tax obligations, social contributions and granting mutual guarantee, within the scope of the COVID-19 disease pandemic.

Thus, the Government decided to make the payment of taxes and social contributions more flexible, as well as to determine the suspension, until June 30, 2020, of tax enforcement proceedings in progress or that may be instituted by the Tax Authority and Social Security.

In the months of March, April and May, the social contributions due are temporarily reduced by 2/3, with the remainder paid in 3 or 6 month installment plans from the second half of the year.

In the months of April, May and June, the delivery of VAT and the withholding deliveries of IRS and IRC can be settled in 3 or 6 installments

It also establishes the extraordinary extension of unemployment benefits and all benefits of the social security system that guarantee subsistence minimums whose concession period or renewal period ends before the prevention measures cease.

 

  1. A decree-law was approved establishing exceptional and temporary measures to respond to the COVID-19 epidemic within the scope of periodic technical inspections of motor vehicles and their trailers, with a view to privileging social distance and prophylactic isolation.
  2. A decree-law was also approved, in general, creating a credit line with subsidized interest addressed to operators in the fishing sector. This credit line is intended to provide financial means for the acquisition of factors of production and for the settlement and renegotiation of debts with suppliers or credit institutions.
  3. A Resolution was approved, amending Resolution no. 10-A / 2020, of 13 March, with the view that the 12-month deferral of installments falling due until September 30, 2020 relating to reimbursable subsidies allocated under the incentive systems of the National Strategic Reference Framework or Portugal 2020, do not depend on a drop in turnover or reserves or orders greater than 20%, in the two months preceding the submission of the request to change the plan reimbursement compared to the same period of the previous year.

 

20th March 2200 hrs

COVID – 19PAYMENT OF IRC AND AVT TO BE POSTPONED

The Prime Minister announced today that the payment of VAT and IRC was postponed to the 2nd semester of the year, which would have to be paid in the coming months, to guarantee the activity of companies and jobs.

The announcement was made by António Costa after a meeting of the Council of Ministers to approve a set of social and economic support measures for the population affected by the covid-19 pandemic.

António Costa said today that Portugal is experiencing not only a “moment of health emergency”, but also a “moment of economic emergency” with the Covid-19 pandemic.

After the Council of Ministers, which took economic measures to minimize the impact of the moment on the affected populations, Costa defended that “it is necessary to preserve employment, ensure the income of families and that companies do not close their doors”.

“This will certainly be a very tough quarter for all of us,” he stressed at a press conference at Palácio da Ajuda, in Lisbon.

The Prime Minister said, this Friday, that Portugal is experiencing a “health and economic emergency” and that “it is essential to protect the employment and income of families”.

In a statement to journalists, António Costa said that this is “a moment of emergency”. “It is a matter of dealing with the life of the Portuguese. It is also a time of economic emergency. It will be a very hard quarter for everyone. In June we will be able to assess the damage suffered and envision a new future for our economy,” said the Prime Minister.

“For that, it is necessary to protect employment. It is absolutely essential to ensure liquidity for companies, so that they guarantee jobs,” added Costa. “Right now we have to focus on saving lives, on health, and business, on the economy”.

“We approve accessible credit on condition of job maintenance, ” said the prime minister, adding measures such as “suspending the expiry of lease contracts that would expire in the coming months” and “automatically extending unemployment benefits”.

“It is necessary to reassure families and businesses. There is a clear priority at this moment: stop uncertainty and restore confidence. In order to have a new future, we need to arrive in June in conditions to be able to face with confidence and prepare for the relaunch of our economy. The household income cannot be more fragile. The state is also to say this,” the most effective measure to support families is to ensure employment. ”

20th March 1400 hrs

The most recent assessment by the Directorate-General for Health.

The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) announced this Thursday the existence of six deaths and 1,020 cases of Covid-19 in Portugal.

The total number of infected people rose to 1,020, 235 more than yesterday, an increase that represents a 30% increase compared to Thursday’s data.

There are a total of 126 hospitalized patients, 26 of them in Intensive Care Units.

In the bulletin released this Friday by the DGS, since January 1, there have been a total of 7,732 suspected cases, of which 850 await the results of the analyses and 5,862 tests that have been negative.

There are six deaths and five recovered cases to be recorded.

The North region remains the most affected, with 506 cases. This is followed by Lisbon and the Tagus Valley, with 361. The Center region records 106 cases, the Algarve 29, Alentejo two, the Azores three and Madeira one.

Currently, there are 24 active transmission chains in Portugal. Age breakdown

  • 4 boys and 14 girls under 10 years old;
  • 44 young people between 10 and 19 years old;
  • 126 cases between 20 and 29 years old;
  • 187 between 30 and 39 years old;
  • 196 between 40 and 49 years old;
  • 174 between 50 and 59 years old;
  • 132 between 60 and 69 years old;
  • 90 between 70 and 79;
  • 52 cases over 80 years old.

 

The current number of persons affected by the Coronavirus  can be downloaded from the DGS website here

19th March 1600 hrs

DGS Press interview 19th March

The priority in carrying out Covid-19 screening tests remains for symptomatic people, but Portugal may change its strategy.

The hypothesis of a change of strategy, passing for mass tests in the population, as practiced in other countries, was admitted, this Thursday, by the general director of Health, Graça Freitas, in a press conference in Lisbon, in which she said that the authorities have this strategy “in mind”.

However, she stressed that it is necessary to take into account the market conditions, realizing if there are the necessary materials available to extend the tests in a generalized way, and if what is being learned from other countries advises this practice.

For now, stressed Graça Freitas, the priority remains with symptomatic people. “The test will always be done by the one who needs it most. If we can extend it, we will extend it”, as long as there is evidence that a wider screening has results.

Thanks Freitas was speaking at a press conference minutes after the latest epidemiological bulletin on Covid-19 was released. The Director-General of Health underlined that of the 785 infected patients, only 15% (89) are hospitalized, 20 of whom are in intensive care.

“This means that most people are being allowed home. And I want to remember that many of us are going to have mild to moderate symptoms. What should we do? Call SNS 24 and stay at home.

Let’s be accompanied by the family doctor or family nurse, but it is important that people are aware that, if they are detected as being at low risk during screening, they should follow the disease at home “, he explained.

 

18th March 2100 hrs

President of the Republic State of the Nation addrees regarding the State of Emergency

“I just enacted a state of emergency.

An exceptional decision at an exceptional time.

The covid-19 pandemic is not just any epidemic like the ones we already know in our democracy.

It is being and will be more intense.

It will last longer until its last effects disappear.

It is being and will be a test never experienced by our National Health Service and Portuguese society, called for unprecedented restraint and family treatment.

It is and will be a huge challenge for the way we live and for our economy. Just think about health, education, behavior in families, work, the effects on tourism, exports, investment, the fragility of families and companies, particularly small and medium-sized companies.

This war – because it is a real war – has been going on for a month, started after European neighbors, and, for this reason, it could take longer to reach the peak of its expression.

And what have we done in the past 15 days?

We understand – and rightly so – that, in our social state, it was and is a task for everyone and not for everyone abandoned to their fate.

We bet on containment, to try to limit contagion, to buy time to prepare the response and to avoid a very fast concentration of demand for health care.

In the containment, the National Health Service, made and continues to make daily heroism, by the hand of its notable professionals.

And with them, everyone who is guaranteeing security and the production and distribution of essential goods for the country to function.

And the Portuguese, with the experience of those who have lived everything in a history of almost nine centuries, disciplined themselves, understood that the combat was very hard and very long and were and have been exemplary. In an almost quarantine, which reveals the good sense of respecting the guidelines of the health authorities, and I tell you, by my own testimony, it is our duty to follow the generic guidelines and, most of all, the specific recommendations of the health authorities.

The Government – which has a Herculean task in hand – has adopted measures, trying to balance restraint in the public space and at the borders and not stopping economic and social life, measures that we, President, Parliament, parties and social partners, support, aware that only unity allows to wage and then win wars.

Having arrived here, I understood that I should call the Council of State, and, under the terms of the Constitution, I listened to the Government and requested authorization from the Assembly of the Republic to declare a state of emergency.

I knew and I know that the Portuguese are divided. Some claim it the day before yesterday. There are those who consider it expendable, premature or dangerous.

I knew and I know that, in the midst of a crisis, people feel so anxious, so distressed, that what they ask for a day or a week, once given, is soon followed by more demands or complaints, as concerns or fears swell.

I knew and I know that many expect from the state of emergency the miracle that everything will resolve in a minute, in a day, in a week, in a month.

Still, I understood that it was in the national interest to take this step. I am grateful to the State Councilors for expressing their opinions, to the Prime Minister and the Government for adhering, in solidarity, and collaborating, in a decisive way, in the content of this decree, and to the Assembly of the Republic for having generously authorized it. readiness and broad consensus.

Five essential reasons explain the step taken.

First – Anticipation and reinforcement of solidarity between public authorities and theirs with the people. Other countries, which began to suffer the pandemic earlier than we did, tried the gradual steps and only now have they come to more drastic decisions, which demand greater adhesion from the peoples and greater solidarity from the organs of power. We, who started later, must learn from others and save steps, even if it seems that we have sinned by excess and not by defect.

The Portuguese people have been exemplary. But this political signal, given now, and given not only by the Government, but by the President of the Republic, Assembly of the Republic and Government is an affirmation of institutional solidarity, confidence and determination, for what has to be done in the days, in the weeks , in the months ahead.

Second – Prevention. The people say: prevention is better than cure. What was approved does not impose concrete decisions on the Government, it gives it a wider base of law to take them. Thus, it allows measures that may be needed in the future to be taken, quickly and at adjusted levels. Namely, in the internal and international circulation, in the field of work, in the human concentrations with greater risk, in the access to goods and services imposed by the crisis, in the guarantee of normality in the satisfaction of basic needs, in the tasks of civil protection, in which, in under the law, all are already called up, civilians, security forces and military. What would be, later, if it was necessary to act, in one or another case, in this preventive framework and it did not exist?

Third – Sure. This legal basis provides the general framework for intervention and ensures that, after the crisis is over, the legal basis of the measures already taken and to be taken will not be questioned.

Fourth – Containment. This is a confined state of emergency, which does not reach the essential of fundamental rights, because it obeys the precise end of the fight against the public health crisis and the creation of conditions of normality in the production and distribution of goods essential to that fight.

Fifth – Flexibility. The state of emergency lasts 15 days, at the end of which it can be renewed, with an assessment, on the ground, of the state of the pandemic and its predictable evolution.

It is a strong political sign of unity of political power, which prevents situations before they can occur, establishes a framework that confers certainty, empowers the Government but does not regulate its exercise, and allows a reevaluation in its application in a combat that changes contours in the time.

It is also a democratic signal.

Democratic, due to the convergence of the various powers of the State.

Democratic, because it is democracy using the exceptional means that it provides for times of exceptional gravity.

It is not an interruption of democracy. It is democracy trying to prevent an irreparable interruption in people’s lives.

It is not, however, a vaccine, nor a miracle solution, that dispense with our daily combat, the reinforced support to the National Health Service, the capacity of people and families to continue trying to limit the contagion, so that the numbers to grow grow less than the worst scenarios and so that the treatment can be, more and more, at home. Everything earlier than later.

Especially because, at one point, the specialists are clear – it depends on the restraint in these coming weeks to be able to shorten deadlines, save patients and, above all, save lives.

We therefore all have to do our part to contribute to going as far and as quickly as possible in this unequal struggle.

And the faster we go, the faster we can save lives, save health, but also focus on the effects, in the long run, on jobs, on incomes, on families, on businesses.

And even now, lives and health are only saved if, in the meantime, the economy does not die.

So the State is helping the economy to endure these long, more acute months. Doing what you can to protect jobs, families and businesses.

But we have to do our part. Do not stop production, do not panic in terms of supplies as if the country is closing, realize that limiting contagion and treating people infected at home is and must be compatible with keeping our economy alive.

So it is in time of war, economies cannot die.

I finish with a request.

In this war, as in all wars, there is only one effective enemy, invisible, insidious and, therefore, dangerous.

Which has several names.

Discouragement. Tiredness. Time fatigue that never ends.

We have to fight him every day.

Against discouragement for what goes wrong or less well.

Against the fatigue that the battles are still many and seem difficult to win.

Against the fatigue that restrains the will, it increases doubts, fuels indignations and revolts.

Anything that weakens us in this war will lengthen the struggle and make it more costly and painful.

Resistance, solidarity and courage are the watchwords. It is true, because in this war, nobody lies or will lie to anyone.

This tells you and guarantees you the President of the Republic. For you directly elected to be, at all times, the good and the bad, the first and not the last of those responsible to the Portuguese.

The road is still long, it is difficult and it is ungrateful.

But I don’t doubt for a second that we will beat him as best we can and know.

In our history, we have always overcome crucial challenges.

That is why we have almost nine hundred years of life.

We were born before many others. We will still exist, when they are no longer what they were and how they were.

Let me finish with an example of what we are like.

The example of the granddaughter, a nurse, who, on the day she lost her grandfather, the first mortal victim, said to me: “President, it’s only nine days before I return to the fight.”

We are like this. Because we are Portugal.

 

2018th March 1000 hrs

ALERT ISSUED BY JUDICIAL POLICE OVER BOGUS ON-LINE FUND RAISING CAMPAIGNS

AND PHISHING ATTACKS

The alert is made by the Judicial Police (PJ), who state that criminals are resorting to false campaigns by the World Health Organization to collect funds or to mobile applications with real-time information about the coronavirus to install malicious software and access the personal data of the owners.

“Extreme caution is advised in accessing, receiving and sharing digital content associated with the Covid-19 pandemic theme, with priority being given to official and reputable sources of information “, emphasizes the JP

EXAMPLES AND METHODS

AOne of the methods detected by the PJ includes “phishing campaigns (by e-mail, mobile phone messages or social networks)” that, using images “from official entities such as the World Health Organization, Unicef ​​or research centers and laboratories in the health sector “and” with contents alluding to the pandemic “, try to obtain the victims’ personal data or infect their computers and mobile phones with malicious software.

False “digital platforms or applications for mobile devices that appear to disseminate information in real time about the pandemic”, namely dynamic contagion maps, are also a means for con artists to install programs that block access to computers and that later allow

According to the PJ, the digital fraud schemes, shared by e-mail or on social networks, also promote the “collection of donations for false campaigns for the purchase of medical or personal protection material”.

In other cases, the fraud is carried out through cell phone messages “stating that, according to the law, extraordinary measures are being applied to combat Covid-19 and that all national citizens will be vaccinated”.

For that, “it would be enough to pay a certain amount indicated in the SMS, but, by registering on the link sent, they would later be refunded”.

 

17th March 2000 hrs

MUNICIPALITY of OVAR UNDER “GEOGRAPHIC QUARANTINE”

A state of calamity was declared in Ovar and the municipality will be closed this Tuesday, coming under “geographic quarantine” after decision by the Regional Health Authority of the Center. The Government is finalizing the decree.

All commercial establishments and non-essential services will be closed and the movement of people in that territory will be limited.

The document is valid until April 4.

The Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, and the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, explained this Tuesday in a press conference the declaration of the state of calamity in the municipality of Ovar, restricting economic activities and the circulation of people.

Marta Temido says that the zone is compatible with a framework of active community transmission and, therefore, there is a risk of widespread transmission of the new coronavirus and of new transmission chains.

The minister also informs that in the municipality of Ovar alone there are 30 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and, as a result of these, 440 contacts already identified and being monitored, with recommendations for isolation.

We are facing a high number of confirmed cases in a restricted geographical area and with many contacts. 50% of the cases of the Regional Health Administration of the Center are in this region ”

he measure, which will be applied immediately and is in force until April 4, provides for a restriction on economic activities and the circulation of people. It is forbidden for residents to leave the city and forbidden anyone to enter, except in exceptional situations involving health professionals, help and security forces.

All commercial or industrial activities are prohibited, except for those related to the food sector. Therefore, all restaurants will be closed, leaving only bakeries and supermarkets open.

Pharmacies, banks and gas stations will remain open, as well as hospitals, health centers, relief structures and security forces, and water and energy supplies.

 

 

17th March 1600 hrs

Dozens of hotels and local accommodations are providing rooms to accommodate healthcare professionals who do not want or are unable to return home.

Also available are the Sports Medicine Centers in Lisbon and Porto and 41 Pousadas da Juventude, with more than 3,500 beds, which can now welcome health professionals and security forces.

 

17th March 1300 hrs

According to the bulletin on the epidemiological situation in Portugal, released today at 12:00, there are 448 confirmed cases 4,030 suspected cases  of which 323 ) awaiting laboratory results. According to DGS, there are three recovered cases.

GNR detected, this Tuesday morning, at the border post in Quintanilha, a truck driver with symptoms related to the new coronavirus. After contacting the SNS 24 line, the man was referred to the hospital in Bragança for further evaluation.

Spain has registered 11,178 people infected with the new coronavirus (1,987 more than Monday) and 491 dead due to the disease (150 more) until Tuesday, according to data updated this Tuesday by Spanish health authorities.

The Directorate-General for Health (DGS) determined today that public service establishments must establish measures to ensure the distance between people.

According to a DGS guideline published today on the website of the national health authority, it is recommended that, in addition to respecting the rules of respiratory etiquette and sanitary measures, public service establishments should prepare their contingency plan for the pandemic. and implement measures to ensure the distance between people on the premises.

Among the suggested measures are the reduction to 1/3 of the capacity of the establishments’ waiting places, the guarantee that the counter service is done at least one meter away, and the implementation of signs, through brands and sign on the floor.

DGS also suggests that physical barriers be created between employees and users, in order to avoid “excessive approximation between individuals”, and that direct contact is kept to a minimum.

With regard to the rules for cleaning and sanitizing, DGS recommends disinfecting at least once a day, from all areas, and at all hours of critical equipment, such as password dispensers or ATMs. To these measures, he adds, should be added the placement of antiseptic alcohol-based solution in strategic locations.

DGS also reiterates through this standard that establishments “must be proactive” in identifying cases of priority care, such as the elderly, pregnant women and children under the age of two, remembering that “they are the people most affected by Covid-19” and that this the establishments “must take an active role in their protection”.

 

17th March 1000 hrs

Land border between Portugal and Spain

Following the of-19 and, for the safety of all, the land borders between Portugal and Spain close from 23:00 pm this Monday until 15 April.

Nine authorized crossing points are available, namely:

  1. Valença (Viana do castelo) – Tuy;
    2. Vila Verde of the ray (Keys) – Verín
    3. Quintanilha (Bragança) – San vitero;
    4. Vilar Formoso (Guarda) – Sources of Oñoro;
    5. Baths of monfortinho (White Castle) – Cilleros;
    6. Marvão (Portalegre) – Valencia of alcântara;
    7. Fall-Elvas (Portalegre) – Badajoz
    8. Green Village of ficalho (Beja) – Rosal de la luz;
    9. Real Village of Santo António (Faro) – Ayamonte.

Who is allowed to travel between Portugal and Spain?

– International Transport of goods and transport of cross-border workers
– entry of National citizens and residence permit holders in their respective countries;
– exit of citizens resident in another country;
– spouse or similar and family members, exceptionally, for family reunion.

Learn more at: https://bit.ly/3d487X5

 

16th March 1700 hrs

BORDERS BETWEEN PORTUGAL AND SPAIN TO BE CLOSED EXCEPT FOR ESSENTIAL TRAVEL AT 2300 HRS MONDAY

PLEASE READ

The borders between Portugal and Spain close at2300 hrs Monday. The measure was announced by the Minister of Internal Affairs and will be in force until at least April 15.

Air traffic between Portugal and Spain will be suspended from the end of the afternoon, as well as the railway connections and the two river connections one in the Minho and the other in the Algarve the  Minister of Internal Administration today.

Nine border posts are opened to allow the entry of goods and labour-related circulation.

Recreational vessels will also not be able to dock in Portuguese marinas.

“It was decided that air traffic between the two countries would be suspended as of the end of today. As of today, we will not have flights between national airports and Spanish airports,” said Eduardo Cabrita.

In a press conference, the minister said that the railway connections are also suspended, as are the two river connections that exist in Minho in the Algarve.

“Portugal and Spain are concluding the technical notes that will allow today to reintroduce land border controls, establishing exclusively nine crossing points”, said the Minister of Internal Administration, Eduardo Cabrita, adding that all other passages will be absolutely banned ” .

At a press conference in Lisbon, Eduardo Cabrita underlined that mechanisms will be established at the nine land crossing points that limit this passage “exclusively to goods and workers who have professional reasons for traveling to Spain or the neighboring country to Portugal”.

The minister said that in these cases, in conjunction with the Spanish authorities, health control will be carried out at the border of those entering and leaving Portugal.

Eduardo Cabrita also announced that today a new press conference will be held to inform which nine border posts will be open and from what time these measures will take effect.

At the meeting, it was also decided that medical supplies, including ventilators, and personal protection kits be “managed on a European scale”.

Eduardo Cabrita recalled that several air connections have already been interrupted, namely from Italy and China, considered “countries of higher risk”.

 

 

16th March 1200 hrs

There are now 331 confirmed cases of infection with the new coronavirus in Portugal, according to the epidemiological bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), this Monday (March 16).

In the last 24 hours, 86 more patients were registered. The number that should continue to increase, admitted the Minister of Health, this Sunday, in a press conference.  “With the data available to date, it is foreseeable that the epidemiological curve will increase at least until the end of April”.

There are still 374 people awaiting the results of laboratory tests and 4592 under surveillance by health authorities. Since Portugal was notified of the first case of covid-19 on March 2, since the first day of the year there have been 2908 suspects.

The most affected region of the country, since this Sunday, is Lisbon (142), which exceeded the number of cases in Porto (138). Next are the central region (31) and the Algarve (13). In the Azores there is only one case. Already in Alentejo and Madeira, no PCR test (the biological analysis used to check for the presence of this virus) has yet tested positive. There are currently 18 active transmission chains.

Of these 331 infected, 139 are hospitalized. 18 are in intensive care, the remainder at home in isolation.

Portugal remains one of the only country in Western Europe where there is still no record of deaths linked to Covid-19. In Europe as a whole, no deaths have occurred in the Czech Republic, Finland, Estonia, Romania, Iceland, Slovakia, Serbia, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovine, Malta, Moldova, and Macedonia.

 

Prime Ministers Statement

CORONAVIRUS COVID – 19

PRIME MINISTER’S STATEMENT THIS MORNING

António Costa in a broadcast stated that the outbreak, which has already infected 331 people in Portugal, is here to stay for months. A scenario endorsed by the President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to whom the Government suggested declaring a state of emergency.

For now, after several measures to restrict social coexistence, which were reinforced yesterday, Portugal will close its doors, with only cross-border goods and workers who can enter and leave. DETAILS ARE EXPECTED TO BE ANNOUNCED VERY SHORTLY

After agreeing with Spanish counterpart Pedro Sánchez yesterday afternoon to restore border controls, the prime minister made it clear what Portugal will face: “the evolution period [of Covid-19] is not limited to the next two weeks but it will surely extend over the next few months “. Hence, Costa admits the possibility of more restrictive measure.

According to Costa, government “will define the rules that will follow the following principles: maintain the free movement of goods, guarantee workers’ rights cross-border, but there will be a restriction on circulation for tourism or leisure purposes “.

He added that the measure is “applicable also to the air border and to any type of border”. AGAIN DETAILS TO BE ANNOUNCED LATER”. And the situations, like the one that happened in the last 24 hours, of a cruise ship that was unable to disembark passengers in Portugal, disembark in Spain and came by land will not be repeated”.

 

The Assembly of Republic building health measures

The Assembly of the Republic today imposed measures of social distance and a one-third reduction in the capacity of its restaurant and cafeteria spaces and restricted, in services, the presence of face-to-face meetings to face the new coronavirus.

These are some of the measures decided today by the Secretary-General of the Assembly of the Republic, Albino de Azevedo Soares, in one of the two published orders, considering the Parliament’s contingency plan for Covid-19, the guidelines of the Directorate-General for Health, the measures implemented by the Government and also “the principles of prevention and precaution, which aim to avoid the known risk and the potential risk”.

Thus, it was decided that these  “immediately apply to the Assembly of the Republic’s restaurant and cafeteria spaces measures of social distancing and a reduction in capacity by one third”. The reduction in half of the capacity of the elevators was also established at the building, with the recommendation of their use “as strictly necessary”.

Another of the decisions was, within the scope of services, the restriction of holding face-to-face meetings, “with external entities or internal meetings”, with preference being given to remote meetings.

The routine activity of the Medical and Nursing Office was also temporarily suspended, with only “acute situations” being treated, in addition to “situations suspected of acute respiratory infection”, which should be referred “immediately to the isolation areas”.

Prescriptions for chronically ill patients are provided electronically and permanent telephone support is maintained for the screening, screening and referral of suspected Covid-19 cases.

According to the other order also published today, the Assembly of the Republic decided to allow employees from risk groups and promote remote work and the rotation of its staff.

The president of the Assembly of the Republic, Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues, called today for a conference of leaders to discuss “exceptional measures” to be taken in parliament in the face of the pandemic of the new coronavirus, “with consequences in the scheduled schedules”.

According to the call to which the Lusa agency had access, the meeting is scheduled for 19:00.

The conference of parliamentary leaders has as its unique point “the exceptional measures to be taken in the Assembly of the Republic in the face of the COVID pandemic? 19 and the official recommendations, with consequences for the scheduled schedules”.

 

 

16th March 0800 hrs

It was just after 20.00 hrs on Sunday when the President of the Republic appeared on television screens, with a message recorded via Skype, to speak to the country.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced that he decided to convene the Council of State for a meeting on Wednesday, at 15.00, to analyse whether or not it is necessary to enact a state of emergency. To be declared, it will be the first time that it will be in force since April 25, 1974.

A scenario that Prime Minister António Costa had already anticipated during the afternoon, when he announced restrictions to be implemented on the borders between Portugal and Spain and placed in Marcelo’s hands the declaration of a state of emergency in the country; which, he said at the outset, the government will not oppose.

The state of emergency is declared when there are or threaten to occur cases of public calamity, such as the case of the covid-19 pandemic.

When the state of emergency is declared, the territorial scope, duration, specification of rights, freedoms and guarantees that are suspended or restricted must be determined in the Assembly of the Republic resolution. And the determination of the degree of strengthening of the powers of the civil administrative authorities – for example health authorities – and of the support of the Armed Forces

In the video, recorded at home, he said it was a “personal communication from the President of the Republic”, from “thanks and solidarity to all Portuguese people”, adding that formal communication to the country will take place on Wednesday after the Council of State.