The Minister of Labor, Solidarity and Social Security tested positive for Covid-19. “She has mild symptoms and is in home confinement, being replaced by the Assistant Secretary of State for Labor and Vocational Training”, the Government said in a statement.
“Having been in isolation since last Monday, he participated yesterday in the Council of Ministers by videoconference”, he adds the text.
“As a result of other contacts, the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action and the Minister for the Sea are in prophylactic isolation, determined by the health authorities, having also participated yesterday by videoconference in the Council of Ministers meeting, finding themselves working at distance “, continues the note.
“Covid-19 tests, meanwhile, were negative.”
11:24 am – Mandatory curfew in force in Lebanon
The Lebanese are, as of this Thursday, living in compulsory retirement, 24 hours a day. The measure will take effect for 11 days.
To circulate, they will need to ask for a special authorization. Even supermarkets are closed.
11:20 am – Two more variants identified in the United States
American researchers have detected two variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that behave similarly to the British variant and which may be more contagious.
One variant suffered a mutation similar to that registered in the United Kingdom, while the other, never seen, was detected in Columbus, Ohio, where it became dominant in a few weeks.
“The Columbus variant has the genetic basis for similar cases that we studied, but it has three mutations that would mean a very important evolution,” said Ohio State University professor of pathology, Dan Jones, quoted by Efe news agency.
11:15 am – WHO Emergency Committee focuses on new variants
The emergency committee of the World Health Organization meets today, ahead of schedule, to discuss the variants of the new coronavirus, which are more contagious and have worried authorities worldwide.
The committee’s meetings normally take place every three months, but “this time the director-general called the members two weeks ahead of schedule to analyze matters that need urgent debate”.
“These are the recent variants and the use of vaccination certificates and tests for international travel,” explains a WHO statement released in Geneva.
11h08 – Africa with more 1265 deaths in 24 hours
The African continent has recorded, in the last 24 hours, another 1265 deaths associated with Covid-19, for a total of 75,709 since the beginning of the pandemic. In the same period, 34,802 new cases of infection were registered – the total is now 3,142,781.
According to the African Union’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of recovered people in the organization’s 55 member states since Wednesday was 24,073, for a total of 2,562,961.
Southern Africa remains the most affected region on the continent, with 1,450,117 infected and 37,891 deaths. South Africa alone has 1,278,303 cases and 35,140 deaths.
10h58 – Two WHO researchers without authorization to enter China
Two of the elements of the World Health Organization team that will investigate, in China, the origin of the new coronavirus were prevented from entering the country, following positive results in an antibody test for Covid-19.
“The relevant requirements for epidemic prevention and control will be strictly enforced,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The experts will begin their work immediately during the 2 weeks quarantine protocol for international travelers.
10h56 – Indonesia with new high
The Indonesian authorities report an unprecedented daily increase in new cases of infection: 11,557, to a cumulative total, since the beginning of the pandemic, of 869,600.
A further 295 people died in 24 hours, for a total of 25,246.
10:46 am – The German pandemic control calendar
The pandemic of the new coronavirus will be under control on German soil later this year. The estimate is by the president of the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases.
Lother Wieler says that by the end of 2021, Germany will have enough vaccines to inoculate the entire population.
The official warns, however, that the most contagious variants identified in the meantime increase the risk of an exacerbation of the pandemic situation.
To date, 16 cases of infection with the strain of England and four others of the strain of South Africa have been identified in Germany.
10h17 – Infecciologist defends closing schools
Infectious disease specialist Fernando Maltez argues that schools should close.
On Great Interview, the director of the Infectious Disease Service at Hospital Curry Cabral recalled that the new variant of the virus is more contagious, especially at younger ages.
10h11 – Support for December’s restaurants and hotels has not yet arrived
The Confederation of Commerce advocates “extended” opening hours for establishments that may be open.
In RTP3, the Hotel and Restaurant Association revealed that the support announced in December has not yet arrived and that with the new confinement they are insufficient.
10 am – Russia over 24 thousand daily cases
Russian health authorities reported on Thursday 24,763 new confirmed cases of infection, 5893 of which in the capital Moscow. The total, since the beginning of the pandemic, amounted to 3,495,816.
The number of deaths associated with Covid-19 increased by 570, to a total of 63,940.
9h14 – British investigation associates eye pain with Covid-19
A first study carried out in the United Kingdom reveals several eye symptoms indicative of Covid-19-related conjunctivitis.
Ophthalmologist Eugénio Leite was invited by the Good Morning Portugal. He warned about the care to be taken with this information, or in the way it is distributed, since various infections and other viruses can cause identical symptoms.
9h10 – Companies can limit video platforms or online games
Communications companies may, in the event of a state of emergency, limit or inhibit audiovisual services of video clubs, video platforms and online games, with a view to preserving the integrity and security of electronic communications networks.
According to the decree that regulates the new state of emergency, which comes into force at 12:00 am on Friday, provided that to preserve the integrity and security of the electronic communications networks, the services provided through them and to prevent the effects of congestion, “give priority to forwarding certain categories of traffic”.
The order of the categories is determined by order of the member of the Government responsible for the area of communications, the document states.
8:35 am – Epidemiologist does not understand decision to keep schools open
The epidemiologist Manuel Carmo Gomes says that this confinement is, in several aspects, less harsh than that observed in the months of March and April. At the time, it took almost two months to flatten the contagion curve.
Therefore, the specialist fears that this time, the country will take even longer to reduce the pressure on hospital admissions. The epidemiologist does not understand the Government’s decision to maintain classes in person.
8h10 – Mexico with 1235 deaths in 24 hours
Mexico reported an additional 1235 deaths from Covid-19, in addition to 15,873 cases. It is the second highest figure since the beginning of the pandemic.
The country has accumulated 136,917 deaths and 1,571,901 confirmed cases and remains the fourth in the world with the most deadly chaos, after the United States, Brazil and India. It is the 13th in number of infections.
7:46 am – Germany with 1244 more deaths
The number of confirmed cases of SARS-Cov-2 infection in Germany has increased, in the last 24 hours, by 25,164, to a total of 1,978,590 since the beginning of the pandemic.
The Robert Koch Institute for Infectious Diseases reports an additional 1244 deaths, for a total of 43,881.
7h28- State of play
At 0:00 on Friday Portugal resumes the general confinement, which is expected to last for a month. The measures are similar to those that were in force during March and April last year. They apply under the new state of emergency.
Restaurants, bars and cafes are maintained only with take-away and home deliveries.
Commercial establishments such as hairdressers or barbers close again. The concert halls also close.Exceptions are supermarkets and grocery stores, which remain open with a maximum capacity of five people per 100 square meters.
Medical offices and pharmacies continue to operate.
Religious ceremonies are permitted according to the rules of the Directorate-General for Health.
Courts remain open and, by appointment, public services will also continue to function.
Football remains without an audience.
Visits to nursing homes and activities in day care centers will be permitted in the new state of emergency.
In announcing the confinement, after the Wednesday afternoon meeting of the Council of Ministers, the prime minister said that all schools remain open so as not to sacrifice students again.
Telecommuting, whenever feasible, is mandatory and António Costa warns that, in case of non-compliance, the amount of fines for companies will double.
The Prime Minister admits that European funds will take time to reach Portugal. But it also says that this cannot delay the implementation of support measures.
The President of the Republic contends, in turn, that confinement is a brake on a reinforced emergency. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa asks the Portuguese for a “supplement of time and soul, in an end challenge, still undetermined”.
Marcelo under surveillance
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is prevented from visiting many places. The President of the Republic returned to the Palace of Belém, but is under surveillance for 14 days.
The health authorities’ decision comes after the Presidency’s security chief tested positive for Covid-19.
Marcelo is considered a low risk contact.
Minister of Health orders to postpone surgery
The order includes the surgeries that were scheduled for cancer patients, as long as life is safeguarded. The measure does not apply to IPOs.
Right now, the largest hospitals in the country are under increased pressure. In the region of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley, there are cases where the maximum capacity limits have already been exceeded.