“Portugal is, at this moment, clearly in the red zone of our matrix, so there are no conditions to continue the planned easing of lockdown plan”, said Mariana Vieira da Silva, at the end of the Council of Ministers.

According to her, the incidence of new cases of infection per 100,000 inhabitants is currently at 129.6 and the virus transmissibility index (Rt) at 1.18 in continental territory.

In a press conference, Mariana Vieira da Silva also considered that the worsening of the situation does not mean that "it is possible to speak of a total lack of control" of the covid-19 pandemic, since in "many territories of the country" there is a low incidence of new cases.

"What we have is the need to respond early to growth and that is what we are trying to do", said the official, recalling that, according to published studies, the Delta variant, associated with India, has "an important role in countries where it has a large presence”, such as the United Kingdom and Portugal.

According to the Minister of State and the Presidency, the increase in social contacts and the gradual return to normality, within the scope of the various phases of alleviation of restrictions, “would always have the effect of increasing the number of cases”, but “it was not expected to be as high” as the latest data indicate.

Mariana Vieira da Silva also stated that the Government had presented the easing of lockdown plan, which started on March 15, as valid until the end of August, and “this is, at this moment, the decision” of the executive.

"If you ask me if there is a worsening of the pandemic, if we can again look at the matrix, obviously yes", said the minister at the press conference where new measures to control the covid-19 pandemic were announced.