LISBON, Portugal (AP) – The number of new official COVID-19 cases in Portugal fell below 1,000 for the first time since the beginning of October on Monday, the largest number of people in the world affected by the national blockade. population:
The blockade, which began on January 15, has caused a “very sharp drop” in new cases, said Andrea Peralta Santos, director general of health, at a televised meeting of health experts and political leaders.
The 14-day case rate per 100,000 people dropped to 322. At the end of January, 1,628.
The country’s so-called “R” number, which indicates that each person infected with COVID-19 is about 0.67. The lowest in Portugal since the outbreak և is currently the lowest in Europe, according to Baltasar Nunes’s state-owned INSA laboratory.
The COVID-19 test was erratic, but overall tests dropped from more than 70,000 a day at the end of last month to about half of last week.
The current blockade expires on March 1, but is widely expected to be extended.
Portugal reported less than 600 new COVID-19 cases on Monday. In late January, it reported more than 16,000 a day, with experts blaming a four-day easing of wave growth restrictions and the emergence of a virus version in the south-east of England.
Hospital admissions dropped from nearly 7,000 a day at the beginning of the month to less than half that number. The country’s resuscitation departments had more than 900 patients in early February and now care for 627.
Experts warn that options remain a threat, that very rapidly easing restrictions could set off a new wave.
Authorities say the version first found in England accounts for about 48% of COVID-19 cases in Portugal.
On Sunday, authorities reported seven cases of the first case of a highly contagious version found in Manaus, Brazil, which could infect people who had previously had COVID-19.
With more than 150,000 Brazilians living in Portugal, the two countries have close cultural and economic ties.
But the seven cases are limited to two interconnected families, coming from just one arrival in Portugal.
“This is good news,” said INSA researcher Joao Paulo Gomez.