The Government has not yet defined a date to suspect, but the intention is that schools be the first to reopen. This Monday, at the meeting at Infarmed, the coordinator of the task force, Henrique Gouveia e Melo, said that group immunity can be achieved in early or mid-August.
The first to have the floor at this Monday’s meeting was André Peralta Santos, from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), who launched the motto with the information that the incidence of contagions for 14 days had a “consolidation of the trend” with one “descent very significant ”.
The DGS official informed that 104 municipalities are no longer at an extremely high level of risk, with 15 municipalities now in this situation. Lisbon and Tagus Valley, Alentejo and Centro are the most worrying regions.
But the good news didn’t stop there: the coordinator of the task force For the Vaccination Plan against covid-19 in Portugal, Henrique Gouveia e Melo, advanced that the availability of vaccines has improved and that this has changed the goal to achieve group immunity in the country to August.
The official explained that, “since February 19, the reduction in the first quarter has continued to be confirmed despite being smaller”. “However, this continues to make the first vaccination phase go beyond the first quarter,” he said, noting that there is a “more positive expectation” in relation to the second, third and four quarters.
If expectations “continue and materialize in the near future, the period in which 70% of group immunity can be reached may eventually be reduced and passed to mid-summer, around August or early August“, Said Henrique Gouveia e Melo, quoted by Public.
Even so, the vaccination plan coordinator warned that these are “expectations that have yet to be confirmed”.
Vaccinate 100,000 people a day
In the second quarter of the year, “there will be a sufficient concentration of vaccines to increase the speed of vaccination to about 100 thousand vaccines per day“, Announced Gouveia e Melo.
The coordinator of the task force he also said that “roughly one million vaccines arrived in Portugal”, 680 thousand have already been applied on the continent and 19 thousand in the Azores and Madeira. About 230 thousand vaccines arrived this Monday in the country and will be applied this week.
According to the vice admiral, we currently have “seven out of 100 inhabitants with at least one inoculation ”, that is, about 4.5% of the Portuguese population has already received the first dose of the vaccine and 2.7% has already been vaccinated with the second dose.
No date to open the country
This Monday, at the meeting at Infarmed, Minister Marta Temido said that the Executive still has no date set to start the deflation, but stated that schools should be the first to reopen, similar to what Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva said last week.
According to the head of the Ministry of Health, the Government is reflecting on “the moments when it is necessary to start to solve” the measures of lack of definition and where to start to apply them.
“The Government having said several times that the last closure that it would have liked to have done was school activities it is coherent to think that in an opposite process, also due to school activities, the process will start ”, admitted the minister, stressing, however, that“ this is not the time to talk about times or manners, we will get there ”.
“This is the time to focus on containing the transmission of the disease, improving what is the response to areas other than the covid-19 area, betting on the speed of the vaccination process and the protection of the most fragile and vulnerable” , warned Temido.
Marcelo’s goal to suspect
Epidemiologist Baltazar Nunes estimated that the number of patients with covid-19 admitted to intensive care may be below 300 in mid-March and below 200 at the end of the month – a number * – + indicated by the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, as a red line for safe deflation.
The researcher from the National Health Institute Dr. Ricardo Jorge (INSA) noted, however, that these projections have many constraints.
“Nothing that is projected is acquired, it will depend on being able to maintain the current trend of decreasing new cases and this trend depends on the measures currently implemented, their adoption by the population as well as the preventive behaviors of the population and the control of the transmission of the new ones. variants of SARS-CoV-2 that still represent are very prevalent in the population ”, said Baltazar Nunes.
However, the projections are in line with the scenarios presented at the last meeting in which it was projected that “the incidence rate may be below 120 in early March, below 60 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in the second half of March”.
Regarding the transmissibility index (R), the specialist said that he is currently us 0.67, decreasing in all regions (all below 1). The R value at 0.67 is “the lowest estimated since the beginning of the epidemic, he said, adding that in the last few days there has been a stabilization of the R value ”.
With regard to excess mortality, Baltazar Nunes estimated that about 74% could be attributable to the covid-19 epidemic and 19% at low temperatures.
Covid tests with saliva
At the end of the meeting with the experts, Marta Temido announced, in statements to journalists, that the Directorate-General for Health and the National Institute of Health Dr. Ricardo Jorge are evaluating the possibility of moving forward with saliva PCR tests.
“This solution, which already exists on the market and is recognized by Infarmed, is on the table and will be another contribution that will join the strategy to come into effect in the coming days”, said the Minister of Health.
As for the new testing standard, the official said that it only goes into effect at midnight on Tuesday and invoked “technical reasons” for the delay, since it should have started last Monday.
Following the statement by the coordinator of the task force, who reinforced the need to use other means of administering vaccines in addition to health centers, Temido told reporters that a standard on vaccination centers is being worked on, admitting vaccination in other areas such as pharmacies community activities.
Liliana Malainho, ZAP // Lusa