Government. Covid-19 measures may not be as restrictive as in the past

  • Lusa
  • 17 November 2021

Vieira da Silva said that the measures will only be decided after the meeting with experts, scheduled for Friday.

The minister of the presidency said on Wednesday that the worsening number of daily cases of Covid-19 leaves “evident” that it will be necessary to take more measures, although it does not predict restrictions at the level of those adopted in the past.

Vieira da Silva said that the measures will only be decided after the meeting with experts, scheduled for Friday.

“The measures deemed necessary to prevent the number of cases from growing are on the table. Given the number of cases, we have today fewer hospitalisations, fewer deaths than we had in the past with these numbers. We now need to know what measures are necessary. We do not foresee measures with the level and severity that have been taken in the past, because the population is more protected, but we will not fail to take the necessary measures”, she said.

About the statements of the president, who considered “evident” the need to return to the mandatory use of masks in the street as a protective measure, Mariana Vieira da Silva said that what she heard Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa say was the need to wait for the opinion of experts.

“It seems clear that, given the worsening number of cases, we have to take more measures. What they are, we need to listen to the experts. That is a great gain that we had in this process, which also made the Portuguese vaccinate en masse, unlike what happened in other countries, which puts us in a situation of greater protection. Now we will hear from experts what measures have to be taken and we will take them”, he said.

The government has scheduled a new meeting at Infarmed for Friday, where it hopes to collect information so that the cabinet can decide what measures should be adopted, but will do so “in due time” and also listen to political parties, underlined Mariana Vieira da Silva.

“We live in a situation where it is important that there is a broad national commitment to these measures and that is what we are working on. We will have time to talk about the measures. Now is the time to work, with the experts first, and then with the political parties, to take the necessary measures. The government guarantees that it will not stop taking the measures that are considered necessary”, he said.

The last meeting at Infarmed, in Lisbon, was held on 16 September, at a time when Portugal was making marked progress in the evolution of the vaccination rate, a reduction in the incidence and transmission rate (Rt) of Covid-19.

Friday’s meeting takes place at a time when the process of vaccinating the over-65s and healthcare professionals with a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine is underway.

Contrary to the trend in September, this meeting will take place at a time when Portugal is experiencing a growth in both the incidence of the disease and the transmission indicator.

In Portugal, since March 2020, 18,274 people have died and 1,110,155 cases of infection have been counted, according to data from the Directorate-General of Health.