"These numbers are testament to the power that the vaccines [against Covid-19] have in reducing not only the disease, but also its most negative manifestations," said André Peralta Santos at the periodic meeting to analyse the epidemiological situation in the country, which brings together experts, members of the government and the President of the Republic at Infarmed in Lisbon.

"It is normal that there are sporadic cases in which, even after full vaccination, people may acquire the disease, and the figures show that, in the overwhelming majority of these cases, the disease is very mild and does not require hospitalisation and there have been no deaths," he continued.

Reading the most recent numbers of cases of Covid-19, the DGS specialist reported a "low to moderate incidence, but with a slight upward trend in the last week", despite noting that "there are not many counties" with an incidence of over 120 cases per 100,000 inhabitants at 14 days, representing 683,000 people. However, he stressed the "concern" surrounding the municipality of Lisbon, which has already surpassed the 120 cases per 100,000 inhabitants line.

"The Lisbon region has shown increases in incidence and, as it is an area with a high population density and intense commuting movements, it may represent a greater concern," he noted, explaining that the parishes in the centre of the municipality are the ones that register "higher incidences and above 240 cases" per 100,000 inhabitants at 14 days.

According to André Peralta Santos, "some of the more central parishes of the city already have a downward trend", but the "growth is spreading to neighbouring parishes" and even to other municipalities. "There is a slight upward trend in new cases, mainly at the expense of the young adult. The downward trend [of cases] continues in the 80+ group and other ages, and also in hospitalisations and mortality," he reinforced.

"Hospitalisations continue a downward trend and, currently, the age group that has more hospitalised patients is the 40-59 group, which is also an expected phenomenon, because as we are protecting the older population with vaccination it is normal that this impact grows," he said, also highlighting that mortality "remains at very low levels, with three deaths per million inhabitants."

As for testing, the DGS expert noted the completion of 270,000 tests in the last week, of which 75 percent were rapid antigen tests, especially among the active population, and a positivity rate "well below the reference value" of 4 percent, despite a slight increase in recent weeks.