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Portuguese president defends de-confinement measures despite COVID-19 outbreaks in Greater Lisbon

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Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa said on Monday that “there are no signs that the first two phases of de-confinement have worsened” the COVID-19 pandemic in Portugal, while endorsing the country’s reopening process as effective.

“There is a positive trend toward a decrease in hospitalized patients and intensive care patients. The decrease in the number of deaths is also positive,” he said in a statement at the end of the eighth meeting where experts evaluated the country’s epidemiological situation.

“The projections presented regarding the pressure on the National Health Service (SNS) are positive too,” he said in the statement.

Rebelo de Sousa pointed out that the so-called “R indicator” (virus reproduction rate) “is around one, and there are countries with values well above the Portuguese.”

Portugal’s health authorities said last Saturday that among 382 new cases of infection in a 24-hour period, 345 cases were reported in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region. Local media said those positive cases mainly came from the civil construction sector.

The president said that the Lisbon and Tagus Valley region has maintained “a relatively stable trend of cases and never went up much.” The main pressure factors have been civil construction and temporary work activities, because “they never stopped” in recent months.

The next pandemic analysis meeting, which brings together government officials, health experts, politicians and civil society representatives, is scheduled for June 24.

Monday’s figures from Portugal’s health authorities showed that six more people have died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, bringing the country’s total number of deaths to 1,485. There were 34,885 confirmed infections, of which 192 were new.

(XINHUA)

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