Entire country now in highest risk category for Covid-19

  • Lusa
  • 30 December 2021

In the ECDC's weekly update, the entire country appear in the dark red category of its 'traffic light' system, indicating very high risk, for regions where Covid-19 is widespread.

Portugal was on Thursday classified by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) in its dark red Covid-19 risk category – the highest – after the Azores region increased notifications of new coronavirus infections and active cases.

In the ECDC’s weekly update, mainland Portugal, Madeira and the Azores all appear in the dark red category of its ‘traffic light’ system, indicating very high risk, for regions where the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 is widespread.

Last week, the Azores was still classified at orange level.

On the ECDC map on travel in the European Union, only Romania is not red or dark red (it is orange, with a part of the country in green) as the country with the lowest rate of notifications.

The colours on the ECDC map represent a combination of the rates of reporting of new coronavirus cases in the past 14 days, number of tests performed, and total positive results from those tests.

In Portugal, 18,921 people have died and 1,330,158 cases of infection have been counted since March 2020, according to data from the country’s national health authority, the Directorate-General of Health (DGS).

Worldwide, Covid-19 has claimed more than 5.41 million lives worldwide since the start of the pandemic, according to the most recent tally by Agence France-Presse.

The respiratory disease is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, first detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China, and currently with variants identified in several countries.

A new variant, Omicron, which is considered of concern and very contagious by the World Health Organisation (WHO), was first detected in southern Africa, but since South African health authorities sounded the alert on 24 November, infections have been reported in at least 110 countries. In Portugal, the strain is now dominant among new cases.