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Sports Covid-19: soon overwhelmed, Portugal is reconfigured punctually for All Saints' Day

19:25  27 october  2020
19:25  27 october  2020 Source:   rfi.fr

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Le Portugal fait face à des chiffres très alarmants de cas de Covid-19 pour un pays dépourvu de moyens. Ici, le centre de Lisbonne le 20 octobre 2020. © REUTERS / Rafael Marchante Portugal is facing very alarming figures of Covid-19 cases for a country deprived of means. Here, the center of Lisbon on October 20, 2020.

Faced with a new wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Portugal is preparing to reconfine its inhabitants on All Saints' Day, to avoid travel to the countryside on the occasion of this holiday Catholic very followed. While in the spring, the country had managed to avoid the worst thanks to an early lockdown, no one is talking about a "Portuguese miracle" this time around.

From our correspondent in Portugal,

It is good for the authorities of to limit movements and therefore the possibilities of transporting the virus. From midnight Thursday 29 October until Tuesday 3 November it will not be possible to travel from one council to another - the councils correspond to the municipalities, of which there are 308 in Portugal.

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Exceptions will be made, especially in order to be able to work or go to school, but residents will need to obtain a travel authorization. We can also get some fresh air and go shopping. This in stores with reduced opening hours.

This decision taken in the Council of Ministers is accompanied by an exhortation to stay at home. Law enforcement will be there to make sure everyone plays the game, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said in person.

This kind of one-time mini-containment had already been applied for the Easter holidays and we are already worried about Christmas. In addition, the mask is made compulsory in the street, each time the distance cannot be respected.

A matter of time before you lose control ?

Statistics clearly show that the situation is worsening, despite calls not to fall into alarmism. The number of cases detected rose above 3,000 per 24 hours a week before the start of this re-containment. Then the number of hospitalizations and intensive care admissions jumped, too.

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The scenario is not very different from what we see in other countries, but we know that Portugal does not have much money. Even if he was able to increase in a few months his capacity in intensive care from 400 to 700 beds, all patients combined.

The government does not rule out taking more serious measures if necessary, but prefers to procrastinate. In the spring, the speed with which Portugal had implemented its coronavirus action plan had saved face. This time around, no one is talking about the "Portuguese miracle" anymore: it could all be a matter of time before things get out of hand.

Economic and political tensions in the midst of a pandemic

Portugal is one of the European countries the most dependent on tourism for its economy. The season and the off-season did not take place in 2020 , just a little more excitement for this All Saints holiday. The country is slowing down and the economic situation is worsening.

The socialist government has sought a broad consensus to pass its finance bill for 2021. It has not found it, neither on its right nor on its left. The budget to be voted on at first instance this week is based on an economy shrinking between 8 and 10%. Hard, for a country that was just starting to recover from the 2008-2014 economic crisis.

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