European disease centre highlights “early intervention” in Portugal

in News · 15-05-2020 01:00:00 · 2 Comments

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) considers that the low number of patients with Covid-19 in Portugal, compared to other countries, results from the “early intervention” of the authorities and the reduced number of cases imported from abroad.

At a time when the country has already surpassed the barrier of 27,000 cases and a 1,000 deaths, still well below that registered in other countries of the European community, the main specialist of ECDC for emergency response and operations, Sergio Brusin, says in an interview to Lusa agency that “Portugal and other countries in Europe have a lower number of cases”.
One of the justifications is “the timely implementation of measures, which is something that can greatly reduce the spread”, highlights the expert.
“This was something that happened in Portugal and other European countries because of the very early intervention”, he reinforces.
The other justification, according to Sergio Brusin, “is that there may have been less introduction of cases from abroad, as seen in Greece, for example”.
The first cases of Covid-19 in Portugal (imported from Italy and Spain) were registered on 2 March, when other European countries already had dozens or hundreds of infected people.
And just one month after the first death in Europe (of a Chinese tourist in France) was recorded, did the first death occur in Portugal, on March 16, an 80-year old man with other pathologies.
But it was even before the first death that the Portuguese government began to adopt measures to contain the outbreak, starting early with the suspension of events with more than 5,000 people and flights to Italy, on 9 March.
On 12 March, António Costa’s executive decreed the closure of all public and private educational establishments, which was effective as of 16 March, and also at that time other non-essential spaces began to be closed, given the declaration of the state of emergency services throughout the country (in force since 00:00 on 19 March), which also brought restrictions on circulation.
After that phase, Portugal entered on 3 May in to a state of calamity due to the pandemic, after three consecutive periods in a state of emergency, with measures such as the general duty of home quarantine and the mandatory use of masks or visors on public transport, in public services, schools and commercial establishments now in force.
Asked by Lusa whether Europe, as a whole, was slow to act, Sergio Brusin underlines that “the answer given was always reasonable and proportional to the knowledge available”, since “there was very little information at the beginning”.
“We thought the situation was just confined to China, Wuhan” […], but now we are starting to see that we may have had an introduction of cases in Europe earlier than we thought, as indicated by the latest reports from France, and we didn’t know at the time that the virus was already circulating in Europe”, he points out.
In addition, according to Sergio Brusin, “it would have been difficult to impose this type of restrictions and measures” without the information that exists today.
“It is very easy to say that we should have been faster, but I don’t think that, in mid-January, the population would have accepted to be closed in their homes, not to circulate, to stop working in factories and elsewhere, because the outbreak at that time seemed confined to Wuhan and a few other places in China,” says the expert.
Europe is the region most affected in the world by the pandemic, having already crossed the barriers of 150,000 deaths in millions of cases.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.
Based in Sweden, ECDC is an EU body that helps countries create responses to disease outbreaks.


Comments:

Viva Portugal!!

By Fernando Luiz de Andrade Lima Filho from Lisbon on 16-05-2020 07:31

““It is very easy to say that we should have been faster, but I don’t think that, in mid-January, the population would have accepted to be closed in their homes, not to circulate, to stop working in factories and elsewhere, because the outbreak at that time seemed confined to Wuhan and a few other places in China,” says the expert.”
The reality on the ground doesn´t confirm this expert´s theory, as it was indeed the Portuguese ppl and not the Portuguese gvrt who urged our authorities to do the right thing by its citizens´health, as an older article that I came across by mid March 2020 explains:
https://ionline.sapo.pt/artigo/689076/quase-190-mil-pessoas-assinaram-uma-peticao-a-favor-de-uma-quarentena-obrigatoria-?seccao=Portugal_i
Credit should be given to Portuguese in their civilian efforts; that fact shouldn´t be whitewashed, as it was them and not our gvrt that triggered the recommended measures given the scope of the covid-19 pandemic.

By guida from Lisbon on 16-05-2020 07:35
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