Portugal’s PM warns country won’t stand another confinement over winter

  • Lusa
  • 15 July 2020

"There is one thing we know: We cannot repeat the confinement we had to impose during the state of emergency," said the Portuguese PM, António Costa.

Portugal’s prime minister said on Wednesday that the country couldn’t stand another period of confinement because of Covid-19 and warned that time is “very short” for society to prepare for next winter.

This warning was left by António Costa in the speech that closed the presentation of the Simplex 20-21 programme in Lisbon, during a session attended by ten ministers of the current government.

“There is one thing we know: We cannot repeat the confinement we had to impose during the state of emergency and in the following weeks, because society, families and people will not bear to go through it again,” Costa said.

Faced with a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the prime minister said society’s “has to adapt now, because there is still some time left to avoid the worst” next autumn and winter.

“The time is very short, maybe we can’t do everything, but we really have to roll up our sleeves and do as much as possible to ensure the continuity of the functioning of society, namely schools, businesses and public administration services, even in a condition as or more adverse as the one we experienced in March. We have to speed up this process,” he stressed.

Costa said that science does not guarantee that next autumn or winter there will not be moments “as or more difficult as those we experienced at the beginning of March in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“Nothing science tells us, we only know that our intuition tells us that in winter there is usually less immunity. It is not by chance that in winter there are more sick people than in summer. We must wish for the best, but we must prepare for the worst with what we already know today”, he insisted.

The prime minister acknowledged that society, in general, is now more disciplined, with “masks, disinfectant gel, respiratory etiquette or physical distancing.”

“All services and businesses are better organised to ensure these conditions. We must use available European resources, we must accelerate and raise the ambition of what we can and must do. This is another time trial that is running and we can’t lose,” he added.