Yesterday, the 16th Infarmed meeting took place. The central theme was the evolution of the epidemiological situation of covid-19 in Portugal, which today brought together experts, holders of sovereign bodies, political forces and social partners. Political parties responded to the conclusions presented at the meeting.
The Deputy Secretary-General of the PS, José Luís Carneiro, considered that the mandatory general confinement is having results and, therefore, it should continue so that “all efforts made until now are not thrown to the ground”.
“The numbers that were known today at the Infarmed meeting are very encouraging, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, we have the number of contagions, called Rt, the lowest ever, standing at 0.66, which shows that the effort being made by the Portuguese has had results, ”said the socialist in a statement to journalists at the PS headquarters in Porto.
Equally positive are the numbers of resources for hospital and intensive care, however the values have to fall even further, he stressed.
“In mid-March, we will be able to reevaluate and then start to see the conditions under which the deflation can occur”, he stressed.
Regarding the vaccination process, José Luís Carneiro said that if Portugal manages to guarantee the immunization of 70% of the population by the end of August, it will be fulfilling an “ambitious goal”.
In turn the PAN he asked the Government to plan the deflation in an “effective and efficient” way, advocating that this is a condition for Portugal to “successfully” emerge from the health crisis derived from the covid-19.
Inês Sousa Real, defended that “only with an effective and efficient planning” will it be possible to successfully exit the health crisis and “resume some normality in those that are social and economic activities”.
Highlighting that “the sacrifice that was demanded of the Portuguese in fact had its effect, was to lower not only the ‘R’ but also obviously the chains of contagion”, the deputy maintained that the plan of deflation must take into account “regional differences” .
In the PAN’s opinion, “small businesses and small businesses” may “open up to the public first”, since “they have been sectors that have been heavily battered by closure”.
The deputy also advocated that, for the success of the lack of definition, “it is essential” to strengthen public transport and “that we continue to invest in teleworking”.
THE Left Block he accused the Government of not responding to the enormous effort of the population to contain the pandemic and of “saving budget at the expense of the crisis”, defending the massification of tests and the strengthening of public health teams.
“There is an effort that the population is making and that is paying off. However, this enormous effort that we all make as a population is not being met by the Government and that should be underlined ”, criticized deputy Moisés Ferreira.
“It is inconceivable that in this situation, the Government had, in 2020, a year of full pandemic, the lowest budgetary execution in recent years. What is required is that the Government uses the entire budget and all the instruments to help fight the pandemic ”, he defended.
Another aspect defended by the blockers was the need for a more effective testing and contact tracking strategy, using the number of tests to point the finger at what is being done.
On the side of PCP, the communist leader Jorge Pires defended the anti-covid-19 vaccination of all Portuguese “as soon as possible”, demanding the diversification of his purchase and the increase of testing and screening with a view to the deflation in the summer.
“It was once again clear that one of the most effective ways to fight the epidemic is to carry out the vaccination process of all Portuguese people as quickly as possible, seeking to guarantee group immunity until the summer,” he said.
According to the member of the political committee of the Central Committee of the PCP, the “calendar” of vaccination “is not guaranteed” and, therefore, he insisted “on the need to diversify the acquisition of vaccines already approved”.
“It is essential to propose a plan of lack of definition that guarantees the gradual return to normal activity in the economic, social, cultural and sporting areas”, he added.
The deputy of “The Greens” Mariana Silva defended that “it is time to look at the general lack of definition”.
The ecologist parliamentarian said “there is a long way to go” and that the relief of sanitary restrictions has to be done “in a controlled way so as not to take steps back”.
Mariana Silva stated that it is necessary to “look at public transport, increase its possibility and create safety conditions, in schools, in homes, in health and primary care centers”.
THE PSD he appealed to the Government to “quickly” plan for the post-confinement period and regretted that the experts did not present “criteria” for that phase at the Infarmed meeting.
“We call for this post-confinement planning to be done quickly, so that the Portuguese know in time what will happen in their lives”, said the deputy and PSD director Maló de Abreu.
The PSD deputy defended that there must be “very clear” criteria and regretted that these were not presented.
Maló de Abreu welcomed that, as expected, confinement has led to a significant reduction in the number of cases, but stressed “84% cannot be identified” of contagion chairs.
As for vaccination, the Social Democratic leader considered that the process “is going better”, although with a shortage of vaccines in the first quarter. “We hope that 80% of the Portuguese population can be vaccinated by the end of the summer,” he said.
The PSD deputy also expressed concern about the testing process.
A Liberal Initiative criticized the Government for the lack of preparation of the lack of definition and of a plan to open schools, condemning that there was less testing of the covid-19 despite the strategy being to reinforce the screening. João Cotrim Figueiredo, considered that this “was not a good meeting”.
In the liberal’s perspective, one of the most serious aspects has to do with schools since, in the current state of emergency decree, the President of the Republic “demands a timely preparation for the return to face-to-face education” and nothing was “said at this meeting that facilitates the preparation of that plan ”.
In the perspective of João Cotrim Figueiredo, there is still a lack of “a sense of urgency on the part of this Government and the lack of definition is not being prepared” nor is the strategy changing.
André Ventura, the only deputy of the He arrives, he regretted that Portugal went from a pandemic situation of “miracle”, which he said was pointed out by the socialists, to now be a “terrible case” in terms of covid-19 numbers.
“Portugal will be confined, at least, until the end of March and, probably, in April, there will be a very phased and gradual deflection. The political environment we saw was what we are going to keep as it is ”, criticized Ventura, calling for more support to companies and businesses at risk.
Finally, the CDS-PP he asked the Government to indicate which “red lines” defined for the lack of definition could start, and defended that “it is time” to “plan in detail” the reopening, which should start with schools.
“This greatly affects the openness and lack of clarity that we want, but what we didn’t know about is the red lines for the lack of clarity that had been announced at the last meeting, which was essential to define from a technical point of view. This was not brought here with the desired clarity ”, stressed Cecília Anacoreta Correia.
In the opinion of the CDS-PP, “this preparation must begin with the education sector, at least for students up to 12 years old, and it would be desirable for this to happen as of the next state of emergency decree”.
The CDS-PP reiterated that “the Armed Forces must be involved” and advocated that the social and private sectors should also be included in this task.
The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, hears, this Tuesday, the IL, Chega, PEV, PAN, CDS-PP and PCP about the renewal of the state of emergency, in hearings by videoconference, from 2:30 pm.
Ana Isabel Moura, ZAP // Lusa