"At the moment it is difficult to defend anything other than the State of Emergency. There must be legal and judicial coverage to take essential measures. This cannot be solved by miraculous measures. Measures in specific municipalities are not feasible. We have regional interdependencies and daily commuting," said Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, leader of AMP.

Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, who is also mayor of Vila Nova de Gaia, in the district of Porto, recalled that "the measures taken do not have an immediate effect", hence the "urgency" of "moving forward quickly".

"The numbers we are getting to are no surprise. It was quite clear that we had a very worrying development,” he argued.

Admitting that, at this moment, the North of the country presents "very worrying" numbers of infection by the new coronavirus, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues is asking for "a national effort".

"We realise that we have reached a moment of gravity that cannot be mitigated with municipal or metropolitan measures", he stressed.

Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues defended changes in the communication on Covid-19, recalling that "people are exhausted from having information that is sometimes contradictory".

"We need more targeted communication, more accurate information and more homogeneous speech. We are asking people on the Day of the Faithful not to go to the cemeteries and then we have 30,000 people watching Formula One races,” he said.

Demanding that companies increase the time gaps between entry and exit, to weigh up the timetables of the street commerce and shopping centres, and to close universities and secondary schools for "at least 15 days", in order to "remove young people from public transport and the public highway", are some of the measures that the Mayor of Gaia says are "urgent".

To Lusa, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues added the idea of asking sports clubs to suspend training activities for 15 days," because "it is not worth closing schools and introducing distance learning if then parents, kids and coaches train together," he said.

"All the measures I propose have a prior consultation with the entities that manage the process on the ground," he stressed.

The president of the Oporto District Civil Protection Commission, Marco Martins, presented a proposal to the government so that, due to the growing number of Covid-19 cases in the region, it decrees a curfew in the district.

In statements to the Lusa agency, Marco Martins said he had spoken with the majority of the district's mayors and that all agreed that "more serious measures are needed, but measures that strike a balance between public health and the economy.