As the record of new covid cases hides a reality: the pandemic in Portugal is less serious than a year ago

More than 17,000 cases in one day: there have never been so many. But when you compare data from December 21st to 28th of this year with data from a year ago, it appears that there are far fewer deaths, hospitalizations and patients in intensive care units – and also less positivity in the tests. We explain everything in this article – which shows in numbers how vaccination is working.

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This Tuesday, Portugal beat the record for daily covid-19 cases. There are 17,172 cases in just 24 hours, but, contrary to what happened a year ago, more infections do not translate into a serious increase in mortality or even in hospitalizations.

Let’s go to the numbers. Based on official data from DGS, CNN Portugal calculated the averages for the last week (data from December 20th to 27th, always reported one day later). And it is confirmed that Portugal has cases like never before, at a time when it is also testing itself like never before.

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The four days with the most tests carried out since the beginning of the pandemic were, according to the Ministry of Health data, precisely December 22, 23, 24 and 27, 2021 (in these four days alone, more than 1.1 million tests were performed). All in all, 197,740 tests were performed on average per day between December 20 and 27 this year, of which 4.8% were positive; in the same period of 2020, an average of 31,411 tests were performed per day, of which 9% were positive. In other words, the positivity rate is lower this year.

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It should be noted that, precisely because of this large volume of testing, many of the confirmed cases may refer to delayed analyses.

The most important thing is to understand what effects all this has on the virus activity, but also what consequences it has on public health. There are a lot more cases and tests, but there is a lot less positivity, fewer admissions and a lot less deaths. Clear effect of the vaccine, in which process Portugal is one of the most advanced countries.

As you can see in the table above, admissions dropped 70%, the number of people in intensive care dropped 70% and deaths dropped 78% in Christmas week this year compared to the same period last year.

We are therefore carrying out many more tests and therefore they appear more infected in raw numbers, but the positivity rate has dropped (in practice, Portugal is testing six times more but the positivity levels are almost half of those seen in the last year); anything that puts pressure on the National Health Service has also receded a lot. In other words, having many cases does not say everything when this contextualization is not done.

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The numbers are even more impressive for case vs. effects. deaths and hospitalizations. A year ago, with three times fewer cases, four times more than covid-19 died in Portugal. Regarding hospitalizations, they were three times higher than what is currently verified. Admissions to intensive care units show the same indicators: there was an average of 506 people in this situation on each day between December 20 and 27, this year being 151.

In summary: although last year there was an average of 2818 cases in this period compared to 9,430 in 2021, all other data are favorable.

We would like to give thanks to the writer of this article for this remarkable content

As the record of new covid cases hides a reality: the pandemic in Portugal is less serious than a year ago

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