By Cathy Elelman • 03 April 2020 • 18:54
PORTUGAL registered its biggest daily increase in coronavirus deaths today Friday with 37 fatalities in just 24 hours.
The country’s Covid-19 fatal victim total currently stands at 246. The number of contagions is close to 10,000.
The Portuguese DGS Health General Directorate reported that coronavirus-related deaths have increased by 17 per cent since Thursday and the number of people testing positive by 9.4 per cent.
There are currently 1,058 Covid-19 patients hospitalised. Of these 245 are in intensive care, five more than on Thursday.
“We are in the most critical month of this pandemic,”, warned Secretary of State for Health Antonio Lacerda Sales at a press conference
Sales called on the Portuguese to make an “extra effort” on what is the first day of the country’s extended state of emergency.
“At the end of the tunnel of two or three months which we are all going through there is light. You still can’t see it, but it is there,” promised Prime Minister Antonio Costa in a radio interview.
When questioned about the latest figures on coronavirus fatalities Costa commented that there could be others with coronavirus, but who passed away due to other causes, hence their deaths have not been included in the official register.
The Portuguese government is expecting April to be the worst month for the country in the fight against the virus.
The administration is planning to up by 24 million the number of available surgical face masks before May.
At the same time, the national College of Nurses reported that 300 of its health professionals have tested positive for Covid-19 and a further 1,750 are being monitored after having been in contact with people with the virus.
Meanwhile the police and the Republican National Guard formally presented ‘Operation Total Seclusion,’ which starts today and runs until Wednesday, to oblige the population to comply with the state of emergency new rules.
These include a ban on gatherings of more than five people and the obligation to present a declaration certifying that the reason for leaving the home is to get to work.
Both forces will be using drones to control traffic in areas where the greatest numbers of people go, like parks, and to monitor the busiest roads over Easter.
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Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.
Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.
Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.
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