The Director of the Association of Private Hospitals in Portugal announced that public and private sector institutions are close to reaching their full capacity, after the record increase in cases of Covid-19 disease.
After the country of ten million people managed to better handle the first wave of the emerging coronavirus pandemic, it is now experiencing the highest weekly rate of new infections in the world.
“We are witnessing a situation as if we were at war,” said Dr. Oscar Jasper. “We do not have enough beds, whether in the public health services sector, the private sector, or the social services sector, to deal with a pandemic that affects between 13,000 and 14,000 daily.”
On Friday, the authorities closed schools for the first time since last March. The sharp increase in infections also forced the government to intensify measures to confront the pandemic, and imposed a closure on all non-essential businesses since January 15, and most of its residents are staying at home.
Ambulances are lined up, sometimes for hours, until hospitals are empty. Health Minister Antonio Lacerda Salles said occupancy in intensive care units was 91 percent and intermediate care was 88 percent.
The Ministry of Health data showed that the pressures on the health system due to the pandemic are increasing deaths from diseases other than Covid-19.
The daily deaths caused by Covid-19 reached a record in Portugal on Thursday, recording 221 deaths, bringing the total to 9686. As for daily cases, they decreased on Thursday to 13,544 from a record high reached on Wednesday, which was 14,647 injuries.