The Prime Minister, António Costa, is already collecting information from partners and experts to start drawing up a plan for the post-deflation.
According to Observer, António Costa gave signs, this Tuesday, after the meeting of experts at Infarmed, that he is already preparing this phase, by asking the social partners to study the possibilities that exist on the table for the post-deflation, that points to april.
At the end of the meeting, the minister asked the partners to reflect on whether they prefer to manage the pandemic situation “localized and gradual”, such as the one that happened in September and December, or general confinements of 15 days.
Despite recognizing that the confinement would never end before mid-March, the prime minister predicted that it would end only later this month. THE Public further advances that, as the Easter Sunday is the 4th of April, the possibility of confinement being maintained during this festive period is on the table.
The general confinement started on January 15th and, this Tuesday, Baltazar Nunes, from the National Institute of Health Doctor Ricardo Jorge, warned that the current measures, including the closed schools, must be maintained “for a two month period to bring the number of beds occupied in intensive care below 200 and the incidence accumulated in 14 days below 60 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants ”.
This recommendation points to the end of March, but, in the political management of that calendar, the fact that Easter will happen on the first weekend of April and that the Government does not want to repeat the exponential increase in contamination that occurred in the Christmas period.
THE Public knows that the need to prolong the confinement until the beginning of April was already being considered by the Government before this meeting, but the Executive was waiting to hear the expert’s opinion to make a decision.
The Minister of Health, Marta Temido, left the meeting to consider “quite evident that the current confinement has to be prolonged for a longer time, already during the month of February, and then subject to an evaluation, but probably for a period that the experts estimated in 60 days from the beginning ”.
The next meeting at Infarmed should take place within 15 days, to prepare for the phase following the state of emergency.
Prepare for deconfiguration
Pedro Simas, a virologist at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, said that he was always “in favor of the lack of definition, but with caution”.
“It is important to be suspicious by following the rules. And what are the two important things to control a plateau? Reach a number of infections that maximize the protection of groups at risk and that allows society to return to its activity, because there are many negative effects of confinement. ” Second, “society must comply with the rules and institutions that support us for testing and screening, which is essential to control an epidemic. It is the screenings that will allow blocking the transmission chains ”, he explained.
Ricardo Mexia, president of the National Association of Public Health Doctors, referred, quoted by the Daily News, that it is important to start thinking about the lack of definition, even if it is too early to start activities.
“It is essential that, phased and that can be implemented dynamically and taking into account the epidemiological evolution. The expectation is that the numbers can continue to fall, but we also have to do it ”, he said, adding that the molds in which it will be implemented depend on the consolidation of the decrease in numbers.
Both agree that future measures should aim at avoiding the saturation of the National Health Service (SNS), both in beds in the wards and in the Intensive Care Units (ICU).
At the meeting at Infarmed, experts argued that one of the most important measures is the mass testing is increased screening capacity contacts of the infected, which, meanwhile, was promised by the Prime Minister.
Manuel Carmo Gomes, professor and researcher at the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, was very critical of the Government’s work and defended an “aggressive response guided by objective criteria”. “They have to be established red lines and if they are overtaken, they have to react aggressively. ”
Miguel Guimarães, president of the Ordem dos Médicos, underlined this Tuesday that “you can’t suspect it now”, referring that doesn’t know a “magic number” to set a date for the lack of definition, but this can only happen when “intensive care hospitalizations decrease”.
“There is no doubt about one thing: we cannot suspect already. We had a big wave, smaller in the north than in the south of the country, but it is wise to wait a little longer and hope that the numbers of infected people per day will decrease substantially, even though at this moment they are falling significantly ”, he said.
Liliana Malainho, ZAP // Lusa