The President spoke to the country, this Thursday, after the Assembly of the Republic approved the renewal of the state of emergency until April 15.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa started by reminding that, two weeks ago, in the Assembly of the Republic, he remembered what all Portuguese people want, that is, sensible and successful”And that this is done with“ testing, screening and vaccination ”. “This is our immediate challenge, starting in the next few days until Easter,” he declared.
The President considers that a successful deflation “requires testing and tracking, from the very beginning the schools that have already opened and those that will open after Easter ”, being“ a huge, but essential effort, to guarantee trust and reinforce security ”.
Marcelo also said that the success of this lack of alignment also requires “vaccinating more and more quickly”, having recalled that, in recent weeks, there were two issues that worried the Portuguese and many Europeans.
“The first issue was the delay in the supply of vaccines, forcing readjustments to the plan drawn up at the end of 2020. We hope that this issue can finally be overcome during the second quarter, that is, starting in April, and that, in what we depend, everything we do to recover the elapsed time, converting the million that already took the first dose and the half million that already took the second in the 70% immunized in September ”, he said.
According to the head of state, the second issue was “more disturbing”. “Doubts arose and then individual decisions by several states in the European Union, suspending the use of a particular vaccine,” he said, without mentioning the name of AstraZeneca.
“This issue was eventually resolved with the intervention of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which confirmed the safety and effectiveness of the suspended vaccine,” he added.
Recalling that “testing, tracking and vaccinating are essential for a successful lack of definition”, the President also recalled that these “are not enough” and that “it is necessary to be sensible and, from now on, during Easter week“.
But good sense after that period as well, since “the renewal of the state of emergency will take effect until the 15th”, a time when “there will be more schools and open economic and social activities”, but also “much greater circulation of people”.
“We have to take these steps so that the numbers of infected, intensive care units and deaths, as well as the transmission and contagion indicator, do not reverse the trend of these two months, nor increase in order to stop what we all wish: the pandemic would fade before the summer, ”he declared.
Marcelo considered that we all “live, these days, a time of relief and hope ”, but he stressed that this was only possible“ thanks to the two-month sacrifices of millions of Portuguese ”.
“Let us make this time a definite time, with no further constraints in the future. Let us test, vaccinate, but also comply with sanitary rules, containing the risk of infection. If so, during the execution of the deconfinition plan, we will create the conditions to leave the state of emergency ”, said the head of state.
“We are closer than ever, but we haven’t reached the goal yet we want: a summer and an autumn that really represent the end of more than a year of postponed, run over and undone lives. There is still a way to go, a precaution to be observed, moderation to maintain ”, appealed the President, remembering that we have to think about the“ next great challenge that is necessary ”, that of“ reconstructing everything that the pandemic destroyed ”.
“It is only a few weeks, but a few weeks that may well count for many months and years gained in the lives of all of us. And let’s start with Easter, even before the April and May openings. With prudence, a sense of solidarity and increased hope for the future. Portugal deserves it, all of us Portuguese people deserve it ”, he concluded.
The presidential decree, which has since been enacted, was approved with votes in favor of PS, PSD, CDS, PAN and non-registered deputy Cristina Rodrigues. PCP, PEV, Chega and Joacine Katar Moreira voted against (the deputy of the Liberal Initiative, who had already shown himself against the renewal, was not present in the vote). The Left Bloc was the only party that abstained.
This is the 14th state of emergency diploma – which allows the suspension of the exercise of certain rights, freedoms and guarantees – from the head of state to allow measures to contain covid-19.
The current state of emergency period ends at 23:59 on the next Wednesday, March 31. This renewal will take effect between 00:00 on 1 April and 23:59 on 15 April.
Speaking to the online newspaper Observador, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers confirmed that the Government will return to meet this Friday and on the same day will do the briefing on the first assessment of the deflation plan and the measures for the first days of this new state of emergency.
Filipa Mesquita, ZAP //