Doctors despair, schools to shut as COVID-19 pandemic worsens in Portugal

21/01/2021 8:00:00 PM

Portugal, Coronavirus

Doctors despair, schools to shut as COVID-19 pandemic worsens in Portugal

The government was preparing to shut all schools, kindergartens and universities from Friday to try to halt the surge in coronavirus cases, state news agency Lusa reported on Thursday."We do not have enough human resources," said Guida da Ponte, deputy head of a doctors' union near Lisbon, adding while there was a lack of intensive-care beds, more could be set up "but we don't have the professionals."

"Doctors are desperate. The word really is 'despair'."Western Europe's poorest country coped well in the first wave of the pandemic last year but has been swamped in recent weeks by a faster-spreading variant of the virus, registering the world's highest infection and death rates.

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LISBON - Overwhelmed by record numbers of COVID-19 patients, doctors in Portuguese hospitals say they are exhausted and in despair.endIndex: (CNN) -- New Phase 3 trial data finds a single shot of Regeneron's COVID-19 antibody cocktail was able to prevent symptomatic COVID-19 among people exposed to the virus, the company said Monday.COVID-19 survivors might only need one shot of the new vaccines from Moderna Inc and Pfizer/BioNTech , instead of the usual two doses, because their immune systems have gotten a head start on learning to recognize the virus, according to two separate reports posted this week on medRxiv ahead of peer review.(Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

The government was preparing to shut all schools, kindergartens and universities from Friday to try to halt the surge in coronavirus cases, state news agency Lusa reported on Thursday. "We do not have enough human resources," said Guida da Ponte, deputy head of a doctors' union near Lisbon, adding while there was a lack of intensive-care beds, more could be set up "but we don't have the professionals. In the new trial, the drug, named REGEN-COV, reduced risk of symptomatic infections by 81%, the company said Monday in a news release." "Doctors are desperate.  "The antibody response to the first vaccine dose in individuals with pre-existing immunity is equal to or even exceeds" levels found in uninfected individuals after the second vaccine dose, the authors of that paper said. The word really is 'despair'. Each participant received one dose of the drug or a placebo, which does nothing, administered as an injection through the skin." Western Europe's poorest country coped well in the first wave of the pandemic last year but has been swamped in recent weeks by a faster-spreading variant of the virus, registering the world's highest infection and death rates.” “From RITM, the vaccines will be passed on to the regional warehouses or hubs wherein our DOH Centers for Health Development in coordination with our logistic partners shall deliver the vaccines to our local government units (LGUs),” said Vergeire.

Ambulances have been queuing outside hospitals, waiting for beds to become available. The drug provided 72% protection against symptomatic infections in the first week and 93% protection in subsequent weeks, Regeneron said.  COVID-19 patients with mild illness and at least one condition that put them at high risk for complications, such as diabetes or heart disease, received either colchicine or a placebo for 30 days. An elderly man died in an ambulance after waiting inside the vehicle for three hours on Tuesday in the town of Portalegre. A government spokeswoman said the cabinet was discussing new measures to tackle the pandemic but declined to give details. Those who received the antibody cocktail and experienced a symptomatic infection resolved their symptoms in one week, the company said, compared to three weeks among those who received a placebo. Without waiting for the government announcement, some local officials were urging parents to keep their children at home.6% of those on colchicine versus 60% of those who got a placebo. "If you have the chance, don't let your children go to school. Myron Cohen, who leads the monoclonal antibody efforts for the COVID Prevention Network and is the director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a statement. Health authorities also inspected the facilities of First Pioneer Distribution Center of UNILAB in Biñan City, Laguna and Zuellig Pharma Corporation in Parañaque City, “which could potentially be used in the first wave of COVID-19 vaccine rollout,” said Vergeire.

Time is essential in controlling the effects of a catastrophe," Carlos Carreiras, the mayor of Cascais near Lisbon, wrote on Facebook. SCHOOL SHUTDOWN Ricardo Mexia, head of the association of public healthcare doctors, said authorities had failed to prepare for the new surge in infections after relaxing restrictions for the year-end holidays." Adverse events occurred in 20% of patients who received the antibody drug and 29% of those who received a placebo, Regeneron said.  "Given that colchicine is inexpensive, taken by mouth, was generally safe in this study, and does not generally need lab monitoring during use, it shows potential as the first oral drug to treat COVID-19 in the outpatient setting," the researchers said. "The decision to close schools is coming too late, but it is important to reduce contagion," he said. "We don't have the means to conduct epidemiological surveys, we haven't recruited enough people, we haven't trained people. None of the four deaths in the trial -- two among those who received the drug and two who received a placebo -- were due to COVID-19 or the drug..4% with 12 or more weeks between doses, compared to 54. Two members: either a midwife, barangay health worker, or other health professionals who will document the patient’s vital signs and other vaccination-related activities.

. The drug is currently authorized to be administered as an IV, which takes longer and may be part of the reason why uptake of the treatment has been limited. I fear the numbers will get even worse." Under a lockdown that started last week, all non-essential services are shut and people urged to stay home, but the government has so far kept schools open, despite calls to shut them from parents' groups, students and opposition parties. A single shot reduced the risk of progressing to symptomatic COVID-19 by 31% overall.  Europe's medicine regulator has said there is not enough data to determine how well the vaccine will work in people over 55. "It is not good to come to classes as there are high-risk groups we could infect," said Frederico Nunes, 20, a university student. "I think it's annoying because this could have been avoided if the government had adopted online classes. Participants received the treatment or a placebo, and the trial showed that the duration of symptoms was shortened and viral levels were reduced in those who received the antibody cocktail.  The local government units (LGUs) were tasked to come up with a masterlist to determine the residents who will fall under the priority list.

" The government has acknowledged that holiday-time contagion played a role, but blamed the increase in cases mostly on the more contagious variant of the virus first detected in Britain, which is spreading rapidly across Portugal.. The daily death toll reached a record high of 221 on Thursday, up from 219 the day before, bringing the total to 9,686 fatalities since the start of the pandemic, health authority DGS said. However, the US government said last month it will no longer distribute bamlanivimab for use on its own because of a sustained increase in coronavirus variants in the United States. The country of 10 million people reported 13,544 infections over the last 24 hours, below Wednesday's record of 14,647. Portugal has the world's highest rolling average of new cases, at 1,044 per million inhabitants over the last seven days, according to data tracker ourworldindata. So far, Regeneron's cocktail has been shown to be effective against coronavirus variants of concerns.org.” Vaccination proper The vaccination activity will be by schedule to avoid crowding and maintain the minimum public health standards on the vaccination sites.

Around 20% of new COVID-19 cases being reported are of the more transmissible variant and that number could reach 60% as early as next week, Health Minister Marta Temido told broadcaster RTP on Wednesday.com,. For a global coronavirus tracker, open in a separate browser: https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/ RELATED VIDEO Watch more in iWantTFC .