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05 sept. 2020 | 22h59 UTC

Portugal: Authorities report highest increase of COVID-19 cases in months on September 5 /update 22

Portugal Alerte de sécurité

Health authorities report highest daily COVID-19 increase since May on September 5; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 5/9/2020, 12h00 until 12/9/2020, 11h59 (Europe/Lisbon). COUNTRY/REGION Portugal, Lisbon Metropolitan area, Porto

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Event

Portuguese health officials on Saturday, September 5, reported the highest daily increase of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases since May. Officials recorded 486 new cases, bringing its nationwide total to 59,943 since the beginning of the pandemic with 1838 associated fatalities. The majority of new cases reported on Saturday were centered in and around Lisbon and the northern region, including Porto. Stricter measures to reduce the spread of the disease will be introduced nationwide from mid-September when students return to school and many businesses reopen, although officials have yet to announce any details.  

Social distancing rules must be followed throughout Portugal, with the wearing of face masks compulsory in all enclosed public spaces and on public transport and in taxis. The majority of shops and services are open in the country, subject to social distancing and hygiene measures. The consumption of alcohol is banned outdoors. In areas outside Greater Lisbon, gatherings are limited to 20 people. There are no border controls on the Spanish border, but arrivals at airports will be subject to health screening. A temperature of 38° C (100.4 F) or higher, as well as any other COVID-19 symptoms, will likely result in a COVID-19 test and mandatory self-isolation until the results of the test are known. 

Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.

 

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