“It is estimated that by June 17, 2022, there have been 5,064,674 cases” of infection in the country, advances the weekly report of the National Institute of Health Doctor Ricardo Jorge (INSA) on the evolution of the pandemic.

Since the first diagnoses of Covid-19 were confirmed on March 2, 2020, it took about 17 months for the country to surpass the one million mark of positive cases, which happened on August 14, 2021.

The pace of contagions has accelerated since then, with about 10 months being enough for Portugal to go from one million to the more than five million cases notified to the health authority, in part due to the emergence of new variants and sublines of the coronavirus considered by experts to be the most transmissible.

This is the case of the BA.5 subline of the Ómicron variant, detected at the end of March, and which quickly became dominant in Portugal, accounting for 88% of infections recorded in the country, according to the latest INSA data.

The report also adds that the average number of five-day daily cases dropped from 17,204 to 14,714 at the national level, being slightly lower on the continent (13,669).

As for the transmissibility index (Rt) of the virus that causes Covid-19, INSA adds that the average value for the period between 13 and 17 June is 0.88 nationally and 0.87 on the mainland, being from 0.93 last Friday.

This indicator - which estimates the number of secondary cases of infection resulting from each person carrying the virus - is below the threshold of 1 in all regions, with the exception of the Azores (1.02), which “indicates an increasing trend” in the number of infections in the archipelago.

According to the document, all regions have an incidence rate of more than 960 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, with the highest in the Azores (3,153.6), followed by Madeira (3,074.6) and Lisbon and Tagus Valley (2,673.2).