By Tony Winterburn • 04 May 2020 • 11:30
The Portuguese government has attributed the country’s low coronavirus caseload to a swift, flexible ‘worst-case scenario’ response and to the early closure of schools and universities on March 16.
Despite the fact that around 22 per cent of Portugal’s 10.3 million people are aged 65 or over, making them particularly vulnerable to the virus, the country has so far registered just over 20,000 cases and 714 deaths – far fewer than its neighbours.
Spain has recorded more than 195,000 cases and more than 20,000 deaths, Italy 176,000 cases and more than 23,000 deaths, and France 153,000 cases and around 20,000 deaths. Portugal’s coronavirus mortality rate is around 3 per cent, compared with 13 per cent in the UK and Belgium and 10 per cent in Spain.
António Sales, the secretary of state for health in Portugal’s socialist minority government, said the administration had “taken the right measures at the right time” after monitoring the spread of the virus from the end of January.
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