The report published this afternoon shows a downward trend in new cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection per 100 inhabitants in almost the entire country, with the exception of the Algarve region, where these have been rising.
At this time, the southernmost region of mainland Portugal has a cumulative incidence over 14 days of 112 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants, almost double the national average, which was 65.9 cases. These data refer to a period between 18 and 31 March.
In addition, the Algarve is also the only region that, at the moment, is beyond the risk threshold with regard to the transmissibility index, the Rt. While the national average for the Rt is 0.97, the Algarve is at 1.19 – the Center region, on the other hand, is the lowest, at 0.88 – but the trend across the country has been upward since 10 February.
It should be remembered that, as long as the country remains below 120 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants and with the rt below 1 (in green) the deflation plan can proceed as planned. It was because we were below these red lines that the Government allowed us to move on to the second phase of deflation, starting this Monday, April 5th.
Part of the rise in the Algarve can be explained by the prevalence of the more infectious British variant in the region. According to DGS and INSA calculations, 95% of the cases identified between 15 and 28 March in the Algarve were with this variant, B.1.1.7. Moreover, 70.6% of new cases in the country are due to this variant.
As for the other variants under surveillance, the South African and the Brazilian, the first was detected in 50 positive cases and “it was not possible to establish the transmission context of some cases, which suggests the possibility of community transmission, even if very low expression “, point out the health authorities. The Brazilian, on the other hand, appeared in 22 cases and both DGS and INSA rule out that it is being transmitted in the community.
In the period under analysis, from 18 to 31 March, the age group that had the highest cumulative incidence corresponded to the group between 20 and 29 years old, with an average of 93 cases per 100 000 inhabitants. The group over the age of 80, on the other hand, showed only an average of 51 cases of infection, “which reflects an infection risk lower than the risk for the general population”, the report indicates.
The document also analyzes the progression of hospitalizations in Intensive Care Units (ICU) due to infection with Covid-19, revealing that on March 31, the number of cases admitted to the ICU was 129, lower than the defined critical value of 245 beds busy.
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