On the day that Portugal takes another step of distrust with a new lifting of restrictions, the eyes of the world are on the country.
O Washington Post highlights in a long article, published this Friday, that all indicators as to the severity of the pandemic show a fast decreasing trend. 2012 is at this time “half the average for the European Union” and “nine times lower than the US”, specific.
The article, which is featured in the online edition of Normal North American, marks the return to normal as possible, with a return to the office and the usual traffic, to nightlife in the capital, or as newspaper covers that these days glorify vice -Admiral Gouveia e Melo, responsible for the country’s vaccination campaign. “Lisbon is triumphant”, he concludes.
However, even in a country where vaccination is at its highest level, not everything is guaranteed. With a decreasing impact, the virus still manages to do serious damage, albeit rarer and less frequently. “Group immunity remains undefined”, the article adds.
“We achieved a good result, but it is not the solution or the miracle that one could think of”, says Health Minister Marta Temido.
Despite the “total liberation”, announced by Prime Minister António Costa – with the opening of the clubs this Friday – some restrictions remain: the use of masks in some closed spaces is still mandatory and digital certificates are requirements to travel or participate in events with a greater concentration of people, highlights the Publish.
On the other hand, there is concern that a new wave during the winter could lead to a further increase in hospitalizations. And there is also the issue of vulnerability of the elderly or other patients who have been vaccinated for more than half a year. Several studies around the world alert to the lower protection of these groups, six months after vaccination.
“We didn’t win the war by vaccinating everyone in our country”
The article of Washington Post that highlights the Vaccination success goes “far beyond just one person”, Portugal being a country with a long tradition of trust in other vaccines. However, he stresses that Vice Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo has become “a celebrity” as the leader of the Task force of vaccination.
“He took his message night after night to Portuguese television, dressed in military uniforms to convey a sense of war”, tests the newspaper.
With the situation improving in the country and the mission of Task force finished, Gouveia e Melo now argues that Portugal should focus on helping other countries, and not just for “moral” reasons, but also for its own security.
“We didn’t win the war because we vaccinated everyone in our country. The war will only end when we take vaccines to every country in the world,” he said.
Gouveia e Melo gives the example of countries like Angola and Mozambique, which like other African nations still have very low vaccination rates. A vacuum that can allow new waves of infection or even the development of new variants, resistant to the inoculations that currently exist.
At a time when the gap in vaccination continues to be colossal, the countries with the highest vaccination rates – Portugal included – are now considering a booster dose, especially among the elderly.
For now, in support centers such as Runa, Torres Vedras, residents are trying to regain a possible normality, from contact with family members to small outings.
However, and even with the country’s vaccination rates, some of the care that was part of the daily life of these elderly people in the most difficult periods of the pandemic remains: the use of a mask in certain spaces, frequent hand washing or social distance whenever possible.