Coronavirus cases exceed 40,000 in Portugal

The Directorate-General of Health (DGS) of Portugal on Wednesday registered 367 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 40,104. The number of fatalities has increased by three to 1,543 since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the DGS’s epidemiological bulletin, 26,083 Portuguese citizens have recovered from the disease, at least 254 of them during the past 24 hours.

A total of 429 people are hospitalized, 12 less than on Tuesday, and 73 of them are still in intensive care, one less than a day earlier.

The regions of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley in the south have the highest number of COVID-19 cases (17,527), while the north has 17,339.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said on Wednesday that “there is no lack of control in the region of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley, either in the evolution of the number of deaths or in the pressure on the National Health Service.”

Following his meeting with Prime Minister Antonio Costa, party leaders and health experts to assess the situation, the head of state said that the spike in the number of cases was due to the fact that “there has been an increase in the number of tests of civil construction, cleaning and precarious workers.”

“We don’t hide the numbers, we do the tests that should be done and that people want to do, and Portugal is among the five countries that test the highest number of people per million inhabitants,” Rebelo de Sousa said.

One week into the third phase of deconfinement, the Portuguese government on Monday announced an extended “state of calamity” from midnight on Tuesday in the regions of Lisbon and the Tagus Valley to combat the novel coronavirus.