This morning, the prime minister met by videoconference with the presidents of the continent’s municipalities with the highest incidence of covid-19 – Alandroal, Carregal do Sal, Moura, Odemira, Portimão, Ribeira de Pena and Rio Maior -, and announced the reinforcement of police forces in these locations.
António Costa met with the seven mayors of the municipalities that have, or “had in the last days, an incidence greater than 240 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants”, in order to analyze what is necessary “to avoid that some municipalities have to regress ”in the deflation process.
The prime minister started by mentioning that, this Monday, there were 20 counties with more than 120 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in 14 days and he warned of the need to take measures in these places to control and avoid regression.
The conversation with the seven municipalities, which António Costa deemed “useful”, allowed the Government to understand that they encompass “outbreaks originating in situations where there is a concentration of people in precarious / temporary precarious housing, associated with major public works in progress, harvests or work in industrial units ”.
In this sense, the Prime Minister announced the “need to articulate specific actions now”, in order to “create better sanitary conditions in these places of residence”.
In addition, in places where it is not yet verified, “massive testing actions should be initiated, with a view to detecting in these outbreaks people who are infected to break transmission chains”.
On the other hand, Costa stressed that “in agriculture the situation is critical because, if a work can be stopped, the harvests cannot be stopped under penalty of loss of all the goods that are perishable ”.
“It is essential to have a great joint work, in order to prevent health risks for those who are working, risks of contamination of everyone and risks of transmission to the community,” he said.
The Prime Minister therefore appealed to employers to improve “working conditions”, reinforcing the importance of testing Covid-19, and, in turn, alerted workers to the importance of “using equipment individual protection ”.
Strengthening the police presence
In addition, António Costa informed that a Minister of Internal Administration had established a reinforcement “of the number of GNR or PSP in these municipalities that have more than 120 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, with a view to reinforcing the inspection actions ”, in the next 14 days.
The prime minister also addressed all Portuguese, leaving “an appeal to all fellow citizens who, with joy and enjoying the good weather, are taking advantage of the reopening of various activities, namely the terrace service “, warning that” this moment of reopening “should be lived with” all precautions “.
“It is very good that they can do it, but it is especially good that we can continue to do it. The pandemic has not passed, the virus is still there and today the dominant variant is a British variant, which is characterized by its enormous transmission speed ”, he warned.
In this sense, the Prime Minister recalled that the mask should be put on as soon as the consumption ends in the terrace and left a practical example: “that each drink his coffee in turn”, to avoid everyone being without the equipment of protection placed.
“The success of this deconfiguration operation depends a lot on the great discipline and on how we are going to be able to maintain safety standards and distances”, he reinforced.
“I appeal to everyone, once again, that we all take the utmost care so that in 15 days we will not have to take steps to retreat in relation to the freedom that we have been regaining”, concluded António Costa.
Twenty-six counties are above the covid-19 incidence risk threshold, and may not advance in the deflation if the situation remains in the next Government assessment.
According to the bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health on Monday, these counties recorded an accumulated, in the last 14 days, of more than 120 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, seven of which are even above the 240 new cases per 100 thousand inhabitants.
At this level above 120 per 100 thousand inhabitants are the municipalities of Alandroal (200), Albufeira (161), Lagoa (141), Machico (500), Portimão (308), Ribeira Brava (225), Ribeira de Pena (283) , Rio Maior (334), Santa Cruz (183), Beja (134), Borba (134), Câmara de Lobos (154), Carregal do Sal (302), Marinha Grande (203), Moura (474). Soure (123), Cinfães (175), Figueira da Foz (121), Figueiró dos Vinhos (180), Funchal (137), Odemira (316), Penela (167), Ponta Delgada (178), Ponta do Sol (151) ), Vila do Bispo (213) and Vimioso (174).
Seven of these counties have values above 240 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, writes SAPO24.
The “berbicacho” with AstraZeneca
Asked by journalists about the “link” between the AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine and the cases of thromboembolisms after its administration, António Costa recalled that the government is still waiting for the opinion of the European Medicines Authority, which will be given during this afternoon.
“Within the framework of the European Union, we believe that it is essential that there is a uniform position regarding the recommendations and indications set by the EMA with respect to each of the vaccines. If there is a berbicacho, then this will have inevitable consequences in the vaccination process ”, pointed out the prime minister.
António Costa also mentioned that the vaccination process in Europe has been “strongly conditioned by the upstream production capacity”, namely “by non-compliance by AstraZeneca contractual obligations ”.
“If there are increased restrictions, this will inevitably translate into a greater delay in the form of development of the vaccination plan”, he reinforced.
The Prime Minister noted, however, that at the moment, in the European Union, there is no alternative vaccines to replace those of AstraZeneca immediately.
“And the medical and pharmacological indications, obviously, have to be followed and respected,” he added.
Personal or institutional problem with Marcelo
Regarding the President of the Republic, Costa said that there is no personal or institutional problem between him and Marcelo, contrasting that the divergence arises between the constitutional interpretation of the Government and that of the parliament.
The prime minister took this position when asked about the existence of an institutional conflict between the Government and the President of the Republic, after Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa promulgated three diplomas on social supports approved by parliament, but whose constitutionality is contested by the executive, António Costa classified as “Not a case” news referring to a crisis in relations between you and the head of state.
“The President of the Republic and I had the opportunity to speak on Easter Day [domingo] to wish a good Easter to each other. The conversation went very well and there is no problem from a personal point of view ”, he started by answering.
From an institutional point of view, according to the executive’s leader, “there is also no problem”.
“As I explained earlier, the Government has nothing to say or point to in relation to what the President of the Republic has done. On the contrary, the divergence is between the Government’s interpretation of what is provided for in the Constitution and the interpretation that the Assembly of the Republic made ”, he said.
“So, in relation to the President of the Republic, it really is not a case,” added the Prime Minister.
Sofia Teixeira Santos, ZAP // Lusa