According to the situation report from the Directorate-General for Health, 136 people are hospitalised in intensive care units (ICUs), 84 more than on 2 June.

These 136 people in ICU represent 55 percent of the critical value of 245 occupied beds foreseen in the "red lines" established by several experts who defined several indicators to monitor the evolution of the pandemic in Portugal.

"Adopting an 85 percent occupancy rate, the total number of critically ill Covid-19 patients (admitted to intensive care medicine) in mainland Portugal should remain below 245," says the document, which points to a regional distribution of 85 beds in the North, 56 in the Centre, 84 in Lisbon and Tagus Valley, 10 in the Alentejo and 10 in the Algarve.

The "red lines" also point out that the integrated management of the National Health Service capacity presupposes a networked response, which means, in intensive care medicine, that regional needs can be met with the response of other regions with greater capacity.

An analysis of the weekly pandemic risk analysis reports also shows that, since 3 April and for ten consecutive weeks, ICU admissions have shown a downward trend, which was reversed at the beginning of June, when there was an "upward trend" in the number of occupied beds.

On 9 June, 72 people were admitted to Covid-19 ICUs (29 percent of the 245-bed threshold), a number that has steadily increased since then: 88 patients (36 percent) on 16 June, 106 patients (43 percent) on 23 June, 113 patients (46 percent) on 30 June and 136 patients (55 percent) on 5 July.

The Lisbon and Tagus Valley region, with 71 patients admitted to ICUs at the end of last week, represented 62 percent of all intensive care admissions in the country and 86 percent of the regional limit of beds defined in the "red lines" report.

The data released by the General Directorate of Health and the National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA) also show a change in the age profile of people who required continued care over recent months.

If in April, the age group with the highest number of ICU admissions was the 70 to 79 year olds, the data indicates that in May, the most serious cases of the disease are now mostly in the 60 to 69 year old age group.

Already in June, intensive care units began to receive more patients between 50 and 59 years and, already this month, the age group with the highest number of cases of Covid-19 admitted to ICUs dropped to people between 40 and 59 years.

Between November 2020 and mid-March this year, ICU admissions in hospitals in mainland Portugal were always above the defined limit of 245 occupied beds, reaching a maximum in February, in one of the most critical periods of the pandemic, with a peak of about 900 people in these units.