The daily reports from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) indicate that, in August 2020 there were 6,940 positive cases of infection, far below the 69,296 verified throughout August this year.

The same trend is seen in regards to the number of deaths, with 87 deaths attributed to Covid-19 in August 2020 and 382 in August this year, representing a growth of 339 percent in the comparison between the two months.

At the level of health services, data also indicates greater pressure in August 2021, a month in which a daily average of 768 patients were hospitalised, higher than the average of 346 people who needed hospital care in August 2020.

The same scenario was registered in intensive care, which this month treated a daily average of 164 patients, while, in August 2020, this average stood at 39 patients in these units.

This daily average of 164 patients in intensive care represents 64 percent of the defined critical threshold of 255 beds occupied.

The high incidence of cases in Portugal is, according to specialists, associated with the Delta variant of coronavirus, considered to be more transmissible than Alpha and which is responsible for 100 percent of infections in all regions of the country, according to data released by the Doctor Ricardo Jorge, National Health Institute (INSA).

At the end of May, INSA data indicated that Delta, initially associated with India and first detected in Portugal in April, had a prevalence of 4.8 percent of cases in Portugal, with the highest incidence in the Alentejo and Lisbon.

The statistical site Our World in Data currently places Portugal in seventh position, among the 27 countries of the European Union, in the average number of cases in the last seven days per one million people, with 217.39, behind Ireland, which leads with 354.3, Cyprus (309.2), Greece (300.2), France (267.83), Estonia (266.59) and Bulgaria (217.56).

Data from the Ministry of Health indicates that, from the start of vaccination on 27 December, 2020 until 30 August, more than 14 million vaccines against Covid-19 had been administered in Portugal, plus 8.2 million first doses and about 5.8 million second doses.