Portugal records fewest hospitalised Covid patients since Oct

The Portuguese Directorate-General for Health (DGS) reported that the number of patients hospitalised with Covid-19 dropped to 789, the lowest figure since October 7, 2020.

A total of 170 patients are in intensive care units (ICUs), the lowest since October 20.

The country reported 457 new cases of infection and eight deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the respective total to 817,080 and 16,762 since the beginning of the pandemic, Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, 754 people recovered, bringing the total number of recoveries to 766,924 since March 2020.

Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Saturday that “fortunately, the country is experiencing a moment of greater tranquility after a difficult and dramatic period with the third wave of the pandemic.”

“But it is essential that we are all aware that this pandemic is not over and will not be over until there is a total vaccination or the discovery of an effective drug. The future depends a lot on how we act in the coming weeks of deconfinement,” he warned.

Portugal started on March 15 to reopen schools and other establishments, although the country is still under a “state of emergency” decreed until the end of the month.

According to the latest DGS data, Portugal currently has 1,280,409 people vaccinated against COVID-19: 875,490 with the first dose and 404,919 with the second dose.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 264 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 82 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to the latest information released by the World Health Organization.