Speaking to reporters shortly after participating in the December 1 commemoration ceremony, which took place today in Praça dos Restauradores, in Lisbon, Antonio Costa confirmed that through the information the government received from “South African authorities” and “from contacts with Portuguese doctors Working in South Africa, the Micron variant will have a ‘higher transmission rate’, but it does not have ‘symptoms very different from previous variants’.
“The information collected indicates one thing: firstly, this variant has a higher transmission rate, that is, it is more dangerous to transmit, (…) [mas] It does not appear to show very different symptoms than the previous variants, ie it is more transmissible but not necessarily more harmful to health,” he said.
However, the CEO stressed that it was “important” to learn more about the new alternative and stressed that until more information was available, “as much caution as possible” is necessary.
“We must be careful because we still know a little, it was discovered a short time ago, so we have to wait for the information produced by the scientific authorities. (…) It is clear that we cannot be careless, “he stressed.
On the day the new restrictions to combat the epidemic came into effect, Antonio Costa stated that the measures in question had already been adopted “before this alternative was discovered”.
“So, I think the level of measures we have adopted is just right for the severity of what we now know about the alternative,” he said.
Costa does not rule out new anti-epidemic measures at Christmas
Today, the Prime Minister did not rule out imposing new restrictions to combat the epidemic during the Christmas season, saying that it is necessary to “always be careful” if new measures are needed, despite the undesirability.
Asked whether additional restrictions on festivities would be accepted, particularly with regard to travel restrictions between municipalities, the Prime Minister indicated that the country is already “nearly two years in this pandemic”, having drawn two lessons: the need to “take measures” Such as as soon as possible this disrupts people’s lives as little as possible, efforts to restore the economy and protect corporate jobs”, and the need to “always consider that new action is necessary if necessary”.
“What do we all want? There may not be a need. What should we bear in mind? He indicated that we are here, if necessary, to adopt measures if they are necessary.”
According to the Prime Minister, “this is how the country has lived in the last two years” and that it has managed to “resist in a difficult way, difficult for everyone,” but where the Portuguese were “a role model in their civic understanding” of that, in the event of a pandemic, “each one protects only himself.” and protect others.”
Addressing the new anti-epidemic restrictions now in force in mainland Portugal, the prime minister said he believed that “all people understand – political parties, social partners and society in general” that they are “very balanced measures, seeking to disrupt the course of activities as little as possible”.
He pointed out, “We did not close activities or facilities, did not limit working hours or capacity, and now we have strengthened security measures so that we are all safe with these measures.”
According to the CEO, “strengthening security is also a way to give people confidence” that they can “continue to maintain a normal frequency of activities with greater safety.”
Antonio Costa was confident that “the Portuguese will abide by these rules”, although they did so “inadvertently”, because they were “aware of the gravity of the situation” and because they knew that, in order for the country to emerge “stronger” from this epidemic, “it is necessary that” Everyone adheres to standards and restrictions.”
“At this point, considering the development that is taking place in Europe as a whole, bearing in mind that there is a new variable and that we are getting closer and closer to the cold season, we will all be closer together at Christmas and the need to reinforce reserves during the festive period,” he noted.
Regarding the measures taken by Switzerland with regard to travelers from Portugal – the Swiss government on Thursday began requiring a negative test and quarantine for all citizens traveling from Portugal, due to the presence of the Ómicron variant in Portuguese territory – Antonio Costa emphasized that the country does not like “when other countries restrict access to the Portuguese language,” just as other countries dislike it when the government adopts “restrictive measures regarding the access of other foreigners to Portugal.”
However, the Prime Minister noted that “when Portugal announces that it has 13 cases” of the micron variant, and even if the outbreak is believed to be “very local”, “it is only natural that other countries when they see this level of case detection, take action” .
“I think it will be temporary transitional measures, let’s hope that this variant is effectively contained, and that it is confirmed that this alternative does not have an increased health risk, as well as an increased risk of transmissibility, and therefore, that everything comes to calm down.”
The Prime Minister compared the measures implemented by the Swiss government with those taken at the European level, considering that, at first, there was also a “great excitement” on the part of the European Commission when the Omicron variant was discovered in South Africa, which led to a “ban on flights”. from South Africa” because of the need for “analysis, information and insight”.
“If it turns out that this variant does not have the level of risk that it was feared to have, that is, if it turns out that this variant is still covered by the arsenal of available vaccines, then it is clear that these measures are also at a relatively European level. Flights from Africa will be reduced ” .
The new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (which causes covid-19), Omicron, was recently discovered in South Africa, and 13 cases of this new strain have been identified so far in Portugal.
[Notícia atualizada às 12:20]
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