The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, admitted this Friday that the confinement period currently in force in Portugal may extend until March, warning of the importance of flattening the contagion curve.
“What matters in this confinement is very simple, is to flatten the curve, reverse the trend and do it as soon as possible, that is, limit the period that we are living in the month of January and perhaps the month of February, to the first quarter of this year, and we don’t let it slide into the second quarter of the year, ”said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, after being questioned by journalists in Belém at the end of an audience with a Portuguese citizen, about the new confinement that entered this Friday in force.
Then he added: “Slipping means prolonging and deepening the economic and social crisis, which is also slipping, which means that it is more difficult to control events later”.
“This confinement is different from the previous one, in March it was more rigorous, more drastic, more dramatic, due to the unexpected, the improvisation and the shock it was for the Portuguese, who today know more about the pandemic, are more aware and realize what matters to do in this confinement ”, he also referred.
For the President, "vaccination advances more slowly than the pandemic", so it is necessary to "control the pandemic to allow time for vaccination to recover this gap".
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa acknowledged that “looking at the streets you get the feeling that the confinement is less strong, less radical than the first, and it is enough that schools are open”, but he stressed that “it is important that Portuguese live it by helping it to be effective, and it has to be effective ”.
In statements to journalists, the President, when asked whether he admitted that confinement lasted throughout the first quarter, warned of the need for balance and consideration.
“It is a problem of balance and weighting, what has been achieved in terms of measures and in the beginning of its application, which is expected to be effective, has met the various factors involved, and it is now essential that the Portuguese understand that the application whatever happens in this first period of the immediate fortnight goes well, because there is a re-weighting at the end of the first fortnight before moving on to what was foreseen in a one-month perspective ”, concluded the head of state.
This Friday, Portugal counted 159 deaths, a new maximum of deaths related to Covid-19 in 24 hours, and 10.663 new cases of confirmed infection with the new coronavirus, according to the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).
The DGS epidemiological bulletin also indicates that 4.560 people are hospitalized, 192 more than on Thursday, of which 622 are in intensive care, that is, 11 more.
The Covid-19 pandemic has already killed 8.543 people in Portugal of the 528.469 confirmed cases of infection, according to data from the Directorate-General for Health.