July 31, 2021

“We’re already in the fourth wave” and Lisbon is the engine

Mario Cruz / Lusa

Specialists call for restrictions for the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region. Carlos Antunes argues that “we are already in the fourth wave” and that Lisbon is the engine.

Lisbon has already passed the level of 240 cases per 100,000 inhabitants and may be forced to retreat into distrust. Experts called on the government to take measures now to prevent the situation in Lisbon from getting worse.

Heard by the DN, the teacher Carlos Antunes, from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon, says that “in practice we are already in a fourth pandemic wave, because the phase we are going through is already with an amplitude and a length similar to the wave of March last year, which lasted until May”, admitting that Lisbon is driving this fourth wave.

For the pulmonologist Carlos Robalo Cordeiro, from the crisis office of the Ordem dos Médicos, in Lisbon, “there are factors that form a real explosive cocktail and if the contagion continues to increase as it is now, it will contaminate the whole country”.

Although he does not speak of a fourth wave, the director of the Faculty of Medicine of Coimbra also admits that “this risk is being taken”.

“There is a great concern that has to do with the significant increase of the Delta variant, originating in India, which will very soon become predominant in the Lisbon region, and it is a variant that we know has a higher risk of contamination than the others that already circulated in the country”, added Carlos Robalo Cordeiro.

It is necessary for Lisbon to remain above 240 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants for two consecutive weeks so that there is a setback in disconfinement. However, in Sesimbra, the municipality took the initiative to ask the Government for authorization to implement measures before these two weeks had elapsed.

Not only does the Lisbon and Vale do Tejo region concentrate the largest number of new covid-19 cases, but also gathers more than 60% of hospital admissions. The data were sent to the Público newspaper by the Regional Health Administration (ARS) of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo.

On Monday, there were 215 patients with covid-19 hospitalized in units in this region. The bulletin of the General Directorate of Health (DGS) indicated that there were a total of 346 hospitalized across the country.

The number of beds dedicated to covid-19 both in wards and in intensive care in Lisbon and Vale do Tejo allow tranquility, but always with reservations.

Despite the increase in admissions, the response to other patients is not compromised, highlights a source from Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte: “There has been a gradual increase in hospital admissions, which is bearable and does not compromise the activity of patients without covid. In May, there were around 2,200 surgeries and around 60,000 consultations”.