The monitoring report of the covid-19 red lines, released this Friday by the INSA and the DGS, reveals that Portugal has 174 intensive care beds occupied, a figure that is close to the critical injunction.
In recent weeks, the increase in the number of patients in intensive care has increased exponentially.
The number of patients admitted to intensive care is now 72% of the critical value of 245 beds, when last week it was 56%. Before that, it was at 47% and, three weeks ago, at 36%.
In March, this value, which is part of the “red lines”, was drawn to serve, at every moment, to fine-tune the measures to the different phases of the epidemic.
This is one of the revelations in the weekly report of the red lines of the pandemic, which is the responsibility of the General Directorate of Health (DGS) and the National Institute of Health Doctor Ricardo Jorge (Insa).
At a time when the number of inpatients in intensive care approaches the limit established as the red line – 174 out of 245 beds -, the age group with the highest number of inpatients in intensive care units is the one from 40 to 59 years old, with a total of 82 cases.
The report recalls that, in the last month, this indicator has been assuming an increasing trend and, therefore, the maximum recommended occupation for covid-19 patients in intensive care units by region is being updated and will be presented next week.
Regarding the value of Rt, it presents values above 1 at the national level (1.12), maintaining the growing trend, being more accentuated in the North and Algarve regions, which present an R
On the other hand, it is among young people in the age group from 20 to 29 years old which has the highest incidence rate in the country, with 875 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. It is also in this group that the second biggest variation of the week is verified (35%).
At the national level, the cumulative incidence to 14 days was, in this Insa report, of 372 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, when, last week, it was 287 cases. The region of Algarve it is the one with the highest values in the country, although it was in the North that the variation in incidence increased the most.
In the last report, the Algarve had 674 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a figure that rises to 883 (variation of 32%). In the North, it rises from 188 to 313 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a variation of 67%, the highest in the country.
In the Center, the incidence rate is 195 cases per 100,000 inhabitants (it was 149 the previous week), in Alentejo it is 223 (it was 165) and it is in the region of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo that the situation remains more stable, with a variation of 13%.
At national level, the proportion of positive tests for SARS-CoV-2 it was 4.9%, a value that exceeded the defined threshold of 4%.
However, a report by Insa and DGS notes that the number of tests performed has also increased in the last 7 days.
Delta remains dominant
What was for a long time the dominant variant in the country, Alfa (known as the English variant), now represents only 10% of new cases.
A Delta variant, associated with India, remains dominant as in recent weeks, with figures similar to those revealed in the previous report.
Delta represents 88.6% of cases evaluated in the week of June 28 to July 4, when, in the previous seven days, the value was 89.1%.
The frequency of this variant, the report concludes, has increased in recent weeks in all regions, ranging from 62.5% in the Azores to 100% in the Algarve region and in Lisbon and Vale do Tejo.
“It is to be expected the occurrence of mutations in viruses over time, as a result of their replication process, especially in RNA viruses. The probability of occurrence of these mutations increases with the circulation of the virus in the community and with the number of partially immunized individuals, promoting the emergence of variants”, say INSA and DGS.
A Lambda variant, identified for the first time in Peru, and classified as a variant of interest, was not identified again in Portugal, keeping the same two cases identified as the previous week.