COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal
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|COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal|
Map of municipalities with coronavirus cases (as of 19 October 2020):
|First outbreak||Wuhan, Hubei, China|
|Arrival date||2 March 2020|
(10 months and 3 weeks)
The COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal is part of the pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). On 2 March 2020, the virus was confirmed to have reached the country when it was reported that two men, a 60-year-old doctor who travelled to the north of Italy on vacation and a 33-year-old man working in Spain, tested positive for COVID-19.
On 12 January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed that a novel coronavirus was the cause of a respiratory illness in a cluster of people in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, which was reported to the WHO on 31 December 2019.
- March 2: recorded cases of COVID-19 in Portugal.
- March 12: The Portuguese government declared the highest level of alert because of COVID-19 and said it would be maintained until 9 April. Portugal entered a Mitigation Phase as Community transmission was detected.
- March 18: The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, declared the entirety of the Portuguese territory in a State of Emergency for the following fifteen days, with the possibility of renewal, the first since the Carnation Revolution in 1974.
- March 24: The Portuguese Government admitted that the country could not contain the virus any longer.
- March 26: The country entered the "Mitigation Stage". The health care sites dedicated to fighting the disease started including the Portugal Health centres groups (agrupamentos de centros de saúde, ACES).
- April 2: The Parliament approved the extension of the State of Emergency, as requested by the President. The State of Emergency will remain until 17 April, subject to further extensions of similar duration. Under the new regulations, for the Easter celebrations, from 9 April (Maundy Thursday) to 13 April (Easter Monday) the Portuguese Government decreed special measures in restricting people movements between municipalities (Portuguese: municípios or concelhos) with very few exceptions, closing all airports to civil transportation and increased control in the national borders.
- April 30: The Portuguese Ministers' Council approved a plan to start releasing the country from the COVID-19 container measures and cancelling the State of Emergency.
- May 2: The State of Emergency was canceled.
- May 4: Portugal started the first phase in easing restrictions. Small street stores reopened (see Response, Return to Normal section).
- May 18: Portugal entered the second phase in easing restrictions. Nurseries and the last two years of the secondary school reopened, along with restaurants, cafés, medium-sized street stores and some museums, all with mandatory usage of mask and distance rules.
- September 15: "state of alert" to nationwide "state of contingency". The decision is thought to prepare the country for the return of students and teachers for the new academic year, the return of workers into the workplace from months of work-from-home policies and for the possible surge of new cases due to the beginning of fall and winter. The following measures were adopted:
- Mandatory domiciliary or hospital confinement for people infected with COVID-19 or subject to active health surveillance.
- Prohibition of gatherings with more than 10 people.
- Prohibition of the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public areas.
- Prohibition of sales of alcoholic beverages in service areas and gas stations.
- General commercial establishments have to be closed at 8 p.m.
- Supermarkets can remain open until 10 p.m, however the sale of alcoholic beverages after 8 p.m is prohibited.
- Restaurants can remain open beyond 8 p.m for local consumption (both in the interior of the commercial establishment or on the outside, where permitted) and for take-away services and home delivery.
- Closing time for the following establishments were not fixed: gas stations (which can remain open 24 hours per day exclusively for the sale of fuel), pharmacies, funeral homes, sports establishments, clinics and medical establishments.
- January 15 : Government reinstates nationwide lockdown due to a surge in new cases.
- January 16 : Portugal registers new record of daily coronavirus cases (10,947).
- January 17 : Portugal registers the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe per capita over the last seven days, according to Oxford University's ourworldindata.org.
- January 21 : Government declares closure of all schools, kindergartens and universities for at least 15 days. The decision was motivated by the increase in infections caused by the UK SARS-CoV-2 variant. On this same day, Portugal registers a new record of daily deaths (221) and the highest number of people in intensive care units (702) since the beginning of the pandemic.
- January 22: New record of daily deaths (234) and the highest number of people in intensive care units (715) since the beginning of the pandemic. First reported case of the South Africa 501.V2 variant.
- January 22: Catholic bishops decide to discontinue the public celebration of Masses, Baptisms, Confirmations, marriages, and other pastoral activities, as of January 23. The Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima has been negatively impacted by the pandemic measures.
Information about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the country is hosted on the DGS home website. However, due to the severity of the pandemic a separate website was created dedicated specifically to coronavirus information and updates under the Portuguese Ministry of Health. Another governmental website was later created to deal with more generic information explaining the emergency status, public information and exceptional measures to help business.
The Ministry of Health provides a web page with information for the public about different areas, including brochures, orientation and guidance for different activity sectors, how to deal with self-isolation, and quarantine games for children. As an example there are several Portuguese food recipes with canned food.
Hospitals for COVID-19
The following is a list of the front line COVID-19 hospitals.
|Madeira||Dr. Nélio Mendonça|
|Azores||Santo Espírito (Terceira)|
Return to normal
On April 30 the Portuguese Ministers' Council approved a plan to start releasing the country from COVID-19 containment measures and cancel the State of Emergency. The plan was divided in three stages, beginning respectively on 4 May, 18 May and 1 June.
The first stage eased some restrictions, such as:
- Barbers and hair salons are open but with health restrictions, mask usage and only by appointment
- Small shops with less than 200m2 can open but cannot have more than 5 customers/100m2 and all must use masks
- People can use public transportation if they aren't able to work remotely. Transport vehicles can only be filled to two thirds capacity and all passengers must use a mask
- All public services are open to everyone with an appointment and is an obligation the use of a mask
- Physical exercise can only be done outdoors or at home
- Libraries and Archives are open
- Groups of more than 10 people aren't allowed
Due to movement restrictions imposed by the state of emergency started in March 18 and the adoption of government guidelines on social distancing by the Portuguese people, otherwise highly populated streets and destinations in cities like Lisbon and Porto were completely empty.
A study by the Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciências da Educação da Universidade do Porto (FPCEUP) aimed at “assessing the psychological health and social support networks” of LGBT+ young people who live with their parental figures during the COVID-19 pandemic concluded, based on a survey of 632 young LGBT+ people, who most did not feel comfortable in their families during confinement.
Of the people surveyed, 59% said they were uncomfortable in the family and three out of 10 felt “quite uncomfortable” living at home with parents during social confinement.
In addition, 35% of young people felt “suffocated” because they were unable to express their identity within the family, whereas in the case of young people whose family was aware of their identity, 35% stated that they “deal badly or very badly " thereby.
This study, with a longitudinal and intercultural character, also concluded that six out of 10 participants considered that the pandemic had “greatly” affected their lives.
With regard to social support networks, half of the young people admitted to feeling isolated from their friends and 35% "extremely isolated" from their partners.
“As for the present study, if for some young people the covid-19 pandemic had no impact on their social support networks, an important proportion felt quite isolated from their friends”, says FPCEUP.
|DGS latest COVID-19 report: 21/01/2021|
|Total confirmed cases||595,149|
|Total cases (men)||268,074|
|Total cases (women)||326,887|
|Total deaths (men)||5,033|
|Total deaths (women)||4,653|
|Currently admitted to hospital||5,630|
|Currently admitted to ICU (Intensive Care Unit)||702|
The following graphs show the evolution of the pandemic starting from 2 March 2020, the day the first cases were confirmed in the country.
Total confirmed cases
New cases per day
Total confirmed cases by age and gender
The following chart present the data from the last published DGS report where information regarding the total number of cases by age and gender was available.
Total confirmed deaths
New deaths per day
Total confirmed recoveries
Total confirmed deaths by age and gender
The following chart present the data from the last published DGS report where information regarding the total number of deaths by age and gender was available.
Hospital admitted cases
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- Estamos On (We are ON)
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- "Isto é tudo o que pode voltar a fazer a partir desta segunda-feira". Jornal Expresso. 4 May 2020.
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- "DGS report from August 16th 2020" (PDF).
- COVID-19 - Direção-Geral da Saúde (by the Directorate-General of Health)
- EstamosON - Official Information COVID19 Estamos On (gov.pt) (by the Portuguese government)
- Esri Portugal - Evolution of COVID-19 in Portugal with graphs and data
- "Coronavirus Portugal updates and news" [Latest news and statistics of coronavirus in Portugal.] (in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Estonian, and Russian). Retrieved 4 April 2020.
- Worldometers - Coronavirus (Covid-19 Data) - Portugal
- Repositório de dados Covid-19 em Portugal
- Vigilância da Mortalidade - Deaths statistics