Home News Covid-19: Portugal reaches peak, infections and deaths will decrease in the coming weeks

Covid-19: Portugal reaches peak, infections and deaths will decrease in the coming weeks

Published on 03/02/2022

Portugal is reaching the peak of the current wave of the pandemic and, in the coming weeks, there will be a reduction in infections, hospitalisations and deaths from covid-19.

“The Rt (virus transmissibility index) across the country is on a sharp decline and is already approaching 1 in a geometric average at seven days, which indicates that the peak of the incidence is already being reached”, says the report from the Ministry of Health.

According to a document prepared by Henrique Oliveira, Pedro Amaral, José Rui Figueira and Ana Serro, who make up the working group coordinated by the president of IST (Instituto Superior Técnico), Rogério Colaço, the rate of change of cases at the national level is close to 0%, which also indicates that Portugal is going through the peak of the incidence.

According to these experts, the peak incidence reached a real value of 130,000 to 150,000 infections, of which “less than 60,000 cases were visible (on average at seven days) per test saturation”, the IST at University of Lisbon said.

“In February, the trend will be a gradual decrease in incidence, which will then become very sharp”, which also predicts that in the coming days there will still be a slight increase in the number of hospitalisations and deaths “due to inertia”, but which should start to reduce from the end of next week.

The working group maintains the forecast that Portugal will not exceed 2,500 patients on covid-19 wards and 200 in intensive care units, while mortality “will be a little higher than expected due to the dragging of the peak of the incidence”.

This pandemic monitoring group “fully confirms” the previous prediction that, due to the people vaccinated and those who were infected, “after the end of February the entire population will have some immunity to the virus” SARS-CoV-2.

According to the same data, the “vaccination effort continues to have effects in the 80+ age group”, with the amount of deaths if this group being ‘stable’.

Experts also consider that, since the last report of January 25th, “there has been a decrease in pandemic risk”, with the pandemic assessment indicator prepared by the IST and the Ordem dos Médicos (OM) to be lowered on Wednesday to the value of 91.78, below the critical threshold of 100 points.

According to these two institutions, when this indicator, which combines incidence, transmissibility, lethality and hospitalisation in wards in intensive care units, exceeds 100 points, the health response to people with other diseases begins to be compromised.

“The probability of returning to 100 points (alarm level) in February is only 40%, with a downward trend. The probability of the indicator exceeding 120 (critical level) dropped from 40% to levels close to 0”, the document adds.

Covid-19 has caused at least 5,686,108 deaths worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic.

In Portugal, since March 2020, 20,024 people have died and 2,745,383 cases of infection have been recorded, according to the latest update from the Directorate-General for Health.

The rapidly spreading and mutating Ómicron variant has become the world’s dominant variant since it was first detected in November in South Africa.