Of the 4268 confirmed cases of COVID-19 IN Portugal, 89% can be found in their own household, stated the Secretary of Health, António Lacerda Sales, this Friday, in the press conference of data updating regarding the pandemic. According to the last epidemiological report, the country has 354 cases of hospitalisation, of which 71 are in intensive care, 76 deaths associated with the infection of the new coronavirus and 43 recoveries.

In this phase of the pandemic, stressed António Lacerda Sales, “our biggest weapon is still social distancing”. “This is not a time for complacency, it’s time for resilience, of resistance, of not letting anxiety and fear take over us”, he said, highlighting that the elder is the most exposed population to the mortality of this virus and, for that, they must be protected.  “The more we reduce the outbreaks of infection, the more we’re protecting this more vulnerable population”.

The general director of Health reinforced the necessity of prevention, that starts with the individual’s measures, like social distancing and it expands to the partners of the social and private sectors. “Society has to organise itself to avoid the contact between people”, said Graça Freitas.

In the nursing homes, suggested the general director, a preventive measure can be “to unfold the population of the nursing home into two institutions”, before a case appears. “This leads to a different density of people within that nursing home, which allows to a bigger social distancing”, she explained. Graça Freitas reminded that “any mild to moderate patient shouldn’t be brought into a hospital” unless there’s an escalation of their health condition.

Regarding the curve of the disease, the general director said that “there’s a tendency for slowing down the speed with which is going up and, with that said, the peak will differ in time”.  According to the predictions existent at the moment, “it won’t be before the month of May”. However, she noted, “it won't really be a peak, but more of a plateau”, that can extend itself for days or weeks.

António Sales reminded that the 4500 doctors that answered the call to reinforce the SNS will allow for a “better balance between the periods of work and rest. Still, regarding the reinforcement of means, the secretary of Health stated that today arrived 4.6 million surgical masks, being expected the acquisition of other protective equipment. The same happens regarding the reinforcement of respirators, that will start arriving next week.

When questioned about the mental health of the Portuguese, António Sales recognised that “it’s natural that situations of depression, anxiety and fear will increase”. For this reason, he referred, there were already activated plans in the northern areas and Alentejo, predicting the expansion to the rest of the country. Besides that, he reminded, “that the phone line SNS24 also has a psychosocial component”. 


Check the original Portuguese post - here.