LISBON, Portugal — The office of Portugal’s 71-year-old president said Sunday that he has canceled all public activities and will stay at home amid the coronavirus outbreak.
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa recently received a group of students from a school which has since been closed following the detection of a student with COVID-19.
Coronavirus portugal cases
The DGS was reporting 785 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 6,061 suspected cases, 488 people awaiting results, 3 deaths, and 3 people who have recovered. There are 89 people in hospitals and 20 people in intensive care. Yesterday there were 642 confirmed cases, a number that was itself up 194 from the day before. Every region of the mainland, the Açores and Madeira all have cases now.
Coronavirus Portugal Update
Cases may jump if and when testing becomes more widespread, but so far Portugal has managed to avoid the explosive growth in cases that other European countries have been experiencing. That luck is unlikely to last, and even so, public health officials advise that the country has entered the phase of exponential growth. The government is getting increasingly serious.
The border with Spain was already virtually closed several days ago (open only to citizens returning home, essential workers and the delivery of goods). Because of other countries’ travel restrictions, flights in and out of Lisbon, Porto and Faro have been getting scarcer and scarcer, and then yesterday the European Union closed all of its external borders. Many borders within Europe are also closed, taking things back to a time before the European Union and the Schengen Agreement.
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For at least 15 days, all non-essential businesses will be closed to customers, although restaurants will be allowed to provide takeaway services. The government recommended that people work from home if possible.
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The first state of emergency in Portugal’s 46-year democratic history, declared by President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Wednesday, can be extended in 15-day periods.
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The government imposed no mandatory lockdown, which Costa said would be “disrespectful” to the Portuguese, who have so far followed government guidelines on staying indoors responsibly.
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People over 70 and those considered vulnerable should only leave home to grab essential goods, go the doctor or walk their pets. All other citizens should avoid leaving their homes but can go to work, assist their families and accompany minors for recreation, among other essential activities.
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“That’s what’s important — to save lives, while ensuring that life continues.”
Those infected with coronavirus or being monitored by health authorities will stay in mandatory isolation, and it would be a crime for them to leave the hospital or their homes, Costa said.
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“There is no rationing in shops and no reason for there to be any. We are putting in these measures to make sure the supply chain is not broken,” Prime Minister Antonio Costa said after a cabinet meeting to decide on concrete measures for the state of emergency declared on Wednesday.
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Portugal has 785 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with four reported deaths.
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Supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries, petrol stations and banks will remain open but must implement capacity restrictions.
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Portugal’s government told people to stay indoors but assured them there would be enough food on the shelves as a nationwide state of emergency to combat the coronavirus outbreak began on Thursday.
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