Portugal is on the way to a new general confinement. Although the prime minister does not want to close the schools, everything depends on the opinion of the experts, who will be heard this Tuesday at the meeting at Infarmed.
The Prime Minister and the party leaders will meet, this Tuesday, with experts to assess the epidemiological situation of the covid-19 in Portugal, a meeting marked by the absence of the President of the Republic, which had a positive test for the new coronavirus .
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who is asymptomatic, canceled his entire schedule for today and the next few days, including the presentation session of the epidemiological situation, which takes place at the headquarters of Infarmed – National Authority for Medicines and Health Products, in Lisbon.
The meeting, which will feature several technical presentations, will also be attended by leaders of employers’ confederations and union structures, and the participation, by videoconference, of state councilors and candidates for President of the Republic is expected.
Besides the pandemic assessment in the various regions of the country, a plan is also status of the vaccination campaign against covid-19 by the coordinator of task-force from the national level, Francisco Ramos.
The meeting between experts, political leaders and representatives of civil society organizations precedes the decision, taken for granted, to place the country in a new general confinement to halt the advance of the pandemic after the number of deaths and deaths increased significantly in the last week. new cases.
For this Tuesday, the President of the Republic was also expected to send to the Assembly of the Republic the presidential decree on the new rules of the state of emergency. On Wednesday, the Assembly of the Republic was to approve the decree, after which the Council of Ministers met to define the new measures.
On Monday, the Prime Minister stated that the institutional decision-making calendar will be fulfilled with “great speed” for the country to quickly enter a confinement more severe and argued that it has prepared citizens for these more restrictive measures.
Schools. To close or not to close?
This Tuesday’s meeting is seen as decisive regarding the opinion of experts, for the decision to keep schools open or not.
On Thursday, at the end of the meeting of the Council of Ministers, António Costa admitted that the Government is considering a possible tightening of restrictions, but stressed that he would wait for the meeting at Infarmed to be aware of the data and recommendations of the epidemiologists who have accompanied the evolution of the pandemic.
The prime minister has already made it clear that he does not want to close education and even invoked the support of experts. However, if they show a strong consensus in favor of (partial or general) closure, the Government will take this advice.
According to the Diário de Notícias, the essential numbers that will be valued will be those of propagation rates and the use of beds in intensive care.
The Minister of Health, Marta Temido, said, this Monday, that “the closure of schools brought consequences”For students and, therefore, the decision of whether or not to close educational establishments has to be evaluated according to what are the recommendations of epidemiologists and entities linked to the sector.
After this morning’s meeting, the President of the Republic will listen to parliamentary parties and, at the end of the afternoon, the Government, meeting in the Council of Ministers, will give a positive opinion to the draft presidential decree with the general terms of the new state of emergency. The diploma will be sent to Parliament and published on the Presidency’s website.
On Wednesday morning, Parliament will approve the presidential decree and, after approval, the Government will meet again to approve the regulatory decree of the state of emergency. Only then will the concrete measures for the new fortnight be known.
The meeting is scheduled for 10 am at Infarmed’s headquarters in Lisbon.
Liliana Malainho, ZAP // Lusa