Lisbon on alert. Arganil and Golegã retreat in deflation

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António Pedro Santos / Lusa

The Council of Ministers decided, this Thursday, that two municipalities will retreat in the deflation, Arganil and Golegã, two will remain as they were, Montalegre and Odemira, and Lamego advances to the same phase of the rest of the country.

At the press conference after the Council of Ministers, which took place this morning in Lisbon, the Minister of State and the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, began by saying that, at this moment, the average number of new cases of infection per 100 thousand inhabitants is at 54.4 and the transmissibility index (Rt) is 1.07.

The official said that this means that, “although the country is already in a low-incidence zone”, the truth is that “the risk is more significant than it was two weeks ago”. The minister also announced that the calamity situation will stay until June 13.

Regarding the evolution of the municipalities, there are two that will retreat: Arganil, in Coimbra, returns to the rules of April 5 and Golegã, in the district of Santarém, returns to the rules of the 19th of the same month.

Mariana Vieira da Silva also indicated that the municipalities of Montalegre, in Vila Real, and Odemira, in Beja, which were in the same rules of the 19th, and the municipality of Lamego, in Viseu.

The minister informed that, of the 278 counties, “274 today have the rules that apply to the whole country” – the rules announced on May 1 – and that six counties are no longer on alert. They are: Albufeira, Castelo de Paiva, Fafe, Lagoa, Oliveira do Hospital and Santa Comba Dão.

On the other hand, the municipalities of Tavira, Vila do Bispo and Vila Nova de Paiva remain in this situation, having been added to this list Lisbon, Chamusca, Salvaterra de Magos and Vale de Câmara.

The region of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley inspires some care, with the minister calling attention to the “increasing incidence levels”, which are “Cause for concern”.

That is why it is planned to step up testing, as announced by the Secretary of State for Health on Tuesday. The official stressed the “anticipation of testing in schools, in the attendance services and in a set of places where there are more cases”, with the objective of “acting locally, isolating more quickly and trying to contain this growth”.

Asked by journalists about possible changes to the criteria, Mariana Vieira da Silva referred these conclusions to after the meeting with experts, scheduled for this Friday. “From this presentation on, the Government will present its decisions.”

The President of the Republic, the Executive and the experts will be meeting, at Infarmed headquarters, in the capital, to discuss the country’s epidemiological situation and probably the measures to be taken in the summer, which should be announced next week.

“We are going to wait for the contribution that they make us arrive from tomorrow to find out if there are changes to be made in the deconflation plan”, he added.

About the changes in the municipalities referred to in this briefing, the minister indicated that these “have been applied on the day after their publication”, that is, they should come into force at the midnight this saturday.

This Tuesday, the Government announced that the process of vaccination will accelerate throughout the continental territory, and not only in Lisbon as it had been initially announced, extending it to those over 40 and 30 years old from 6 and 20 June, respectively.

The vaccination plan coordinator, Vice Admiral Gouveia e Melo, said he is confident that immunity will be reached at the scheduled time, in August, if all goes well with the delivery of vaccines within the deadlines agreed with the pharmaceutical companies.

Filipa Mesquita Filipa Mesquita, ZAP //