"This decrease in new cases in these two weeks has also translated into a significant reduction in the risk of transmissibility, the famous Rt, which is currently at 0.77, the lowest the country has had since the beginning of the pandemic and is very visible in the effective reduction of new daily cases, which after a very strong growth in the month of January, has had a very significant drop in recent weeks," said António Costa at a press conference on the extension of the state of emergency.
In view of this, António Costa said that "the lockdown is producing results and thanks are due to the Portuguese for the civic sense with which they have been fulfilling it".
"However the situation remains extremely serious," said the Prime Minister, noting that Portugal continues to have in the last 14 days a level of 960 infection per 100,000 inhabitants, which according to the European Centre for Disease Control table is an extremely serious level, and that despite the "downward trajectory" of recent weeks in the number of daily cases, the level of hospital admissions is still high.
"This high number of inpatients also translates into a very high number of inpatients in intensive care units. We have been asked many times throughout this pandemic what the limit was and every week the limit has been exceeded. And the truth is that with an extraordinary effort by our professionals and the mobilisation of all resources, it has been possible to respond to what is needed", said António Costa.
About the "extremely high number of deaths" that the country continues to register, António Costa said that the country cannot "conform" with "absolutely unacceptable" numbers.
"If we compare them with the maximum number of deaths that we had in the first wave, when we all mobilised to fight this pandemic, with the numbers that we continue to have today, we realise that these values are absolutely unacceptable," he argued.