The second phase of deflation on April 5 will progress evenly across the country. But at this point there are 19 counties with a number of new cases above the limit established by the Government, that is, with more than 120 new infections per 100 thousand inhabitants in 14 days. For now, the idea is just to warn of the risk of these places and confirm whether in two weeks or not they have managed to reduce the incidence. Besides these, there are another 64 counties marked on the Government map that are at risk to see a brake on the deflation if 15 days from now the neighbors with whom they share borders have not improved.
An example is Ribeira de Pena, in the district of Vila Real, which is above this threshold, exceeding even 240 new cases / 100 thousand inhabitants and which puts the municipalities of Boticas, Vila Pouca de Aguiar, Vila Real, Mondim de Basto at risk and Cabeceiras de Basto. According to the logic presented this Thursday by the Government, if Ribeira de Pena has an incidence above the limit in two weeks, it could stop the third phase of deflation in five more municipalities, with a total of 96 thousand inhabitants.
The same happens with Carregal do Sal, which has more than 240 new cases / 100 thousand inhabitants and which may affect the municipalities of Viseu, Tondela, Santa Comba Dão, Tábua, Oliveira do Hospital and Nelas, with a total of 186 thousand inhabitants.
From the bulletins of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), it is possible to conclude that five of the 19 municipalities have been above this level for more than two months. This is the case of Cinfães, Figueira da Foz, Moura, Penela and Rio Maior.
In all of these cases, the incidence was much higher in February (as a result of the third wave), started to fall but then remained above 120 new cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, which can be explained by outbreaks that have emerged in the meantime. It happened, for example, in Moura, in a host school that later spread to other schools, and also in Rio Maior, with an outbreak in a bakery.
According to the Prime Minister explained after the meeting of the Council of Ministers, measures will be taken to curb the deflation if these municipalities remain above the risk threshold at the end of the next two weeks, explaining that no interim decisions will be taken before the end of the next 15 days.
The model now presented follows the experts’ suggestion when covering the incidence of neighboring municipalities in the decision. However, it is distant from what the experts suggested, since the assessment should be made based on the weighted incidence, which would allow to ‘correct’ the situation in municipalities that stood out “because they have a greater or lesser incidence than the surrounding region”, some may even lose relevance “in the case of municipalities with a small number of inhabitants”, as can be read in the proposal submitted to the Government.
António Costa referred to the experts’ proposal when he mentioned the option of waiting two weeks to brake in the most affected municipalities. “According to what the experts have proposed, we must take into account that, if in two successive evaluations the same counties are above the risk threshold, these counties should not advance in the measures of deflation ”, he affirmed
Yet, O The plan proposed by the experts, coordinated by Raquel Duarte and Óscar Felgueiras, suggested that it was only in the face of stability or an improvement in the level of risk that the municipalities should proceed to the next phase of reopening. In case of aggravation they would not advance, braking and waiting for a second assessment, after another 15 days, to decide whether or not a setback would be justified.
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