Official numbers this Sunday’s revealed that 14 Portuguese nationals have died victims of the COVID19 epidemic. There were 1,600 confirmed cases, 320 additional cases in last 24 hours, with 169 hospitalized and 41 in intensive care.
Five patients have since recovered and 1,152 were waiting for test results. The total number of suspected cases is 12,562 to date.
The North and Lisbon and the Tagus Valley are the regions with the most deaths and confirmed cases.
The Azores Health Authority has detected 11 positive cases diagnosed, bringing the number while Madeira has confirmed 7 cases.
Minister of Health, Marta Temido, stated on Sunday that 80 percent of confirmed cases are mild and that most patients are being cared at home. She expects infections to rise exponentially until at least the end of April.
State of Emergency in effect
Portugal has officially declared a State of Emergency in effect until April 3. Measures include: (1) Restriction of movement except for trips to the food market, pharmacy, dog walking, and exercise; (2) Suspending non-essential businesses; (3) Closure of restaurants, except for delivery and take outs); (4) Banning on beach outings involving groups; (5) Measures for economic relief including support for affected businesses; (6) Call for national defense readiness to support and enforce regulations.
Additional measures include that citizens avoid leaving their homes except to go to work, assist their families and accompany minors for recreation. People over 70, and those considered vulnerable, should only leave home to get essential goods, go to the doctor or walk their pets.
Supermarkets, pharmacies, bakeries, gas stations and banks will remain open but must implement capacity restrictions.
According to Portuguese law, the state of emergency, the first of its kind in the Portuguese history, can be extended indefinitely for periods of 15 days. Failure to comply with the orders can lead to arrest and fines between 400 and 2,200 euros.
Traveling constraints and cancellations
Portugal’s flag carrier TAP Air Portugal has cancelled around 3,500 flights to 60 different destinations until June 15. The airline reduced operations to 25 international flights per week including four to North America namely Newark (2x per week); Boston (2x per week); Miami (2x per week); and Toronto (2x per week).
SATA Azores Airlines has suspended all flights to the United States and Canada. Flights to and from Boston were temporarily suspended from March 21 until March 31. Flights to and from Toronto were also suspended from March 23 until April 14.
In North America, SATA Azores Airlines connects the United States with the Azores and mainland Portugal from Logan International Airport (Boston, MA) and Oakland International Airport (Oakland, CA). In Canada, the carrier offers connections to the Azores and mainland Portugal from Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport (Montreal), and Pearson International Airport (Toronto).T
The Central Government and the Regional authorities of the Azores and Madeira suspended the docking of cruise ships and yachts in their port until the end of March.
Travelers entering the country from abroad must self-quarantine for 14 days and will checked for temperature at the airport.
There at least 14,611 deaths worldwide, after the new coronavirus was first identified in December, and more than 329,299 cases of infection were detected in 171 countries and territories. The United states tops 32,356 cases in 50 states with 414 deaths to date. The major outbreaks clusters are in New York City, Washington State, and California.