Marta Temido explained that "in view of the widening of the geographical expansion" of cases of infection and the "growing trend of the epidemic curve", a new model will be applied in the approach to the patient "from Thursday.

Currently, there are already a number of patients being treated at home, with the goal of reaching 80% of those infected, said the director-general of health, Graça Freitas.

"The aim is to speed up and reinforce this possibility, ensuring that patients are then monitored even at home," said the minister.

Marta Temido and Graça Freitas spoke at the daily press conference at the Ministry of Health to monitor the situation of the covid-19 virus pandemic in Portugal.

According to Marta Temido, this new model also requires "some adaptations" on the part of health units to allow, for example, the separation of areas for patients infected with the new coronavirus, which will start to be organized at the beginning of the week.

More protective equipment will be distributed to health professionals and more tests, starting from the beginning of next week, "as the market allows," in order to be able to apply this new model, said the minister.

Marta Temido said that more details of this new model will be known when the rules for its operation are published.

Portugal today raised to 12 the number of deaths associated with the covid-19 virus, double compared to Friday, according to the bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), which records 1,280 confirmed cases of infection.

According to DGS, there are 156 inpatients, 35 of whom are in intensive care. The vast majority (1,124) are recovering at home.