Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa: “There was a miscalculation at the time of the second wave”

The President of the Republic recognizes the tiredness and fatigue of the Portuguese regarding the adherence to the general confinement measures, but calls for them to be complied with: “If they do not adhere, the cost is greater in daily life and in the duration of the state of emergency and confinement ”.

Cristina Bernardo

The President of the Republic warned of the increase in the number of daily cases in Covid-19 throughout this week, stressing that “starting tomorrow” the country may see an “increase in hospitalizations in the infirmary and intensive care units” although the National Health Service (SNS) is already using “available capacity, but increasingly narrow” to tackle the fight against the pandemic. This has already “included social, private and military hospitals”.

To the journalists, at the door of the Hospital da Azambuja, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa considered, this Monday, that “telling this is important for [the Portuguese] to be aware, because the pressure [on the NHS] can harm Covid patients and not Covid ”and for that reason recalls that“ the effectiveness of the measures depends a lot on their own ”, referring to the weak adherence to the general containment measures, assisted this weekend.

“They themselves have to adhere to the importance of complying with the measures. If they don't adhere, the cost is higher in day-to-day life and in the duration of the state of emergency and confinement ”, he explained.

The head of state argues that both the Executive, and himself, believed “very much in the confidence of the Portuguese” when it was decided to lighten restrictive measures at Christmas, but recognizes the need for them to be reinforced. "At the end of the year there were restrictive rules and unfortunately they were not followed," he continued.

Asked if the Government foresaw the arrival of the second wave in a timely manner, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa acknowledges that he did not, assuming “the maximum responsibility”, and admits that “the second wave was a miscalculation”.

"After eleven months, people have realized everything, they are tired, they are exhausted," he said. For Marcelo, people either adhere to the confinement or do not. “There is no political power that can be substituted for people by being very persuasive, by being dramatist. In democracy, people are most in charge. ”

Regarding this year's confinement, when compared to the first, Marcelo dismisses the criticism that there are many exceptions, remembering that this period “corresponded to a time when a large part of the economic activity stopped. Because of the closing of the borders, imports and exports have stopped. The heavier industry has stopped. The confinement was much greater because people stopped working on many of these activities ”, they stopped, he explained, recalling that the same is not happening now.

“It was known that the confinement was going to be very different from the March confinement. The measures are being adjusted ”, he informed, adding that Prime Minister António Costa, who is currently in the Council of Ministers, will announce new measures this afternoon. m

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