The Director-General of Health warned this Wednesday that the number of cases of covid-19 remains high and reinforced the appeal for the population to adopt protective measures, such as the use of a mask, during the Easter period.
In an assessment of the epidemiological situation, Graça Freitas said that the number of new cases of covid-19 in the last seven days was still around 60,000, higher than the peaks of previous epidemic curves, except for last winter.
“We are still far from reaching a low activity that allows us to reach a safe level”, said Graça Freitas. Despite the situation being stable, with a decreasing trend the incidence rate of the coronavirus is still high, as is the transmissibility.
Graça Freitas stressed that the number of deaths in Portugal from covid-19 brings “a great deal of concern”, with the rate currently at 28.6 deaths within 14 days per million inhabitants. This amount remains above the threshold of 20 deaths within 14 days per million inhabitants, defined by the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC) as one of the references determined by the Government for the country to move to an unrestricted level of pandemic control.
There is already a “slightly decreasing trend” in mortality, but, Graça Freitas added, “we will see if it continues or not”.
In view of this epidemiological situation, she recommended the adoption of “personal protection measures”, namely vaccination with a booster dose for those who are eligible, the use of the mandatory mask in closed spaces, hand washing, respiratory etiquette, and the recommendation to take a test for covid-19 before going to a get-together.
“The pandemic has not ended, neither globally or in Portugal and we do not know how the next few months will be”, she said.
“I appeal for the participation of all citizens in the sense of protecting themselves and others, especially the most vulnerable who are the oldest, sickest and people who are living in institutions”.
As for patients with covid-19, the dDirector-General of Health said that they should remain isolated.