Minister confirms plateau phase but asks for caution in data analysis

in News · 11-04-2020 17:15:00 · 3 Comments

The epidemic curve of covid-19 is in the plateau phase, said the Minister of Health in a press conference today, who added that the "very preliminary data" be " interpreted with caution ”.

“What remains in general terms is that we are in a plateau phase. However, all of these results, as we have underlined over the past few days, are still very preliminary and should be interpreted with caution ”, said Minister of Health, Marta Temido, at a press conference at the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) ).

The minister also asked the Portuguese to continue the effort to reduce transmission.

“There is an unambiguous aspect here that we cannot be distracted from. All of our efforts need to continue to be aimed at reducing transmission, ”he said, stressing the importance of“ correct transmission of public health messages ”and calling for“ everyone's help ”.

Portugal today registers 470 deaths associated with covid-19, 35 more than on Friday, and 15,987 infected (more 515), according to the epidemiological bulletin released by DGS.

The epidemiological situation report, with data updated until midnight on Friday, indicates that the North region is the one with the highest number of deaths (258), followed by the Central region (113), the Lisbon region and Tagus Valley (87) and the Algarve, with nine dead.

The bulletin today reports on three deaths in the Azores.

In relation to Friday, when 435 deaths were registered, today there was a percentage increase of 8% (plus 35).

According to data provided by DGS, there are 15,987 confirmed cases, plus 515, which represents an increase of 3.3% compared to Friday.

Portugal, where the first confirmed cases were registered on March 2nd, has been in a state of emergency since March 19th and until the end of April 17th.


In response to Ms. Creighton's comment, I recognize her frustration but am very concerned at her message and its tone. One thing which strikes me - she says she's had symptoms, presumably the same symptoms, for 4 weeks - this would seem to exclude COVID19 as their cause, because the disease progresses faster than this (2-3 weeks infection to serious illness in those patients that ultimately require hospitalization.) Presumably she has been trying to get tested for some time, so some gatekeeper(s) of the health system has(have) been refusing, presumably telling her that what she is describing does not match their picture of a patient at higher-than-average risk. Assuming she had tested positive two weeks ago, an illness with a serious course should have made her very sick by now. Regardless of the outcome, it is definitely worth reviewing how such judgments are made and who might incorrectly be being excluded from testing at early stages.

Unfortunately there is still a shortage of testing materials, and the SNS is still being forced to triage their use. This is changing and will change, but as of the beginning of April, 2020, this is still the situation around the world.

We are familiar with getting medical tests run at the nearby clinic and getting results in at most a few days, results which we can rely on to answer critical questions we have about our health. The test kits currently in use have been rushed into the clinic years faster than is the norm and they are used as fast as they can be manufactured and delivered to clinics around the world. In a few months we may have enough to test everyone and that is desirable, but for now that is not possible.

In my opinion, Ms Creighton's accusations, that there is some sort of face-protecting dishonesty behind the local health authorities' refusal to test her, are unjustified and reckless. It could be that there is a sort of system-wide bureaucratic blunder being committed which is indeed putting lives at risk, but her evidence, that they have not tested her for 4 weeks, serves rather to suggest that the powers-that-be got it right: she probably isn't infected now, seems no more likely to be than her neighbors and every hour she spends in public arguing with some massively-overworked public employee can only serve to increase everyone's risk, including her own.

By James Kilgore from Algarve on 13-04-2020 09:48

The Portuguese government is actively lying and misleading people about the level of Covid infection. Not surprisingly the numbers seem so low because people with symptoms are being refused testing opportunities outside of hospital and nobody wants to go to hospital due to infection risk. I’ve had symptoms for 4 weeks and SNS refuses to test me either at home or through drive in. If you have other underlying conditions they will only test you in hospital and I’m not going to hospital and running risk (in case I’m not infected). There is almost zero testing in Algarve and that’s why numbers so low. I know loads of people that are sick with symptoms. Stop the national dishonesty

By julia crighton from Algarve on 12-04-2020 10:54

It is amazing how few are reported to have recovered from Covid 19. In my mind does not make sense looking at the time frame.

By Robert Agnarsson from Algarve on 12-04-2020 12:41
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