As COVID-19 situation continues in Lisbon, government ‘ponders special response’ for the capital
As the seventh meeting between politicians, epidemiologists, technicians and state advisers at Infarmed drew to a close this evening, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said that the beginning of the effects of the first phase of deflation of lockdown are already being felt, with positive aspects but also a main concern.
The concern is the recent evolution of the situation in the region of Lisbon and the Tejo Valley, “where the R is higher than the national average”, stated the President, who revealed that this concrete situation must and will be considered in the decisions of the Government regarding lockdown in the coming days.
“What is happening today in the Lisbon and Tejo Valley region should be considered and will be reflected in the Government’s decisions in the coming days and weeks, namely those related to the 1st of June and later, certainly,” said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to journalists. The weighting will be done “not with the idea of ??having a sign here that leads to a definite line inflection” but in the natural sense of “a permanent adjustment”, which is the raison d’être of the sessions at Infarmed – the next one being on the 8th of June.
Ricardo Baptista Leite, PSD MP, confirmed that “the Government said it would consider a differentiated response for the Lisbon region, but it was not exhaustive”. The meaning of this specialized response is likely to be a slower lockdown deflation, which may mean that some places, such as shopping centres, remains closed in the region whilst they open elsewhere in the country, explained MP André Ventura, of the Chega party. So far no offfical decision has been taken, and all options are being taken into consideration.
“We have already felt the effects of the first phase. And there are positive aspects, such as the situation experienced in certain regions, in Alentejo, the Algarve and the central area. The R (transmission rate) value there is clearly less than 1 and this is positive. Also positive is the evolution in the number of hospitalizations and intensive care, which continues to decrease”, said President Marcelo.
In Lisbon and the Tejo Valley region, which deserves “special attention”, Marcelo said that the R is now 1.01. “It is clear that there are outbreaks that seem to be linked to socio-economic situations experienced in certain areas of the Lisbon region” Marcelo told journalists, adding that “there is no situation that has been left uncontrolled.”