“I believe that it is inevitable to postpone the day of the total lifting of restrictions and be aware of the increase in incidence”, the specialist from the Institute of Molecular Medicine of the University of Lisbon told Lusa.

If the increase in the incidence of infections continues, it is “likely that some measures will return”, defended the specialist, claiming that it is “extremely important” to control the pandemic, in terms of incidence, hospitalisations and fatalities at very low values, during spring and summer so that the country reaches the “autumn with few viruses in circulation”.

“If we don't, we risk a sixth wave in the winter. It is better to keep some sacrifices now than to live through a winter of uncertainties again”, underlined the professor at the Faculty of Medicine of Lisbon.

Worsening situation

According to the report from the Covid-19 monitoring group of the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) released on Thursday by Lusa, the pandemic is “getting significantly worse” in Portugal, with the transmissibility index (Rt) ) to reach 1.09, which could result in a sixth wave of infections.

“We are seeing the design of a sixth wave very clearly. The pandemic risk is still not very high, but it is necessary to understand how the evolution of the numbers will continue”, advances the document prepared by Henrique Oliveira, Pedro Amaral, José Rui Figueira and Ana Serro, who make up this working group coordinated by the president of the IST, Rogerio Colaço.

According to the IST, the worsening of the pandemic situation is due to the BA.2 lineage of the Ómicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is already dominant in Portugal.

On Tuesday, the Minister of Health said that the easing of restrictions to control the pandemic, scheduled for April, should go ahead, unless an unforeseen circumstance arises.