The President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, advanced today that he will propose extending until May 1 the state of emergency in the country, which registers 435 deaths and more than 15,000 infected by coronaviruses without the curve appearing to stabilize at the moment.
“My conviction is formed to renew the state of emergency until May 1,” Rebelo de Sousa told reporters, whom he said cannot “let your guard down at this decisive moment.”
It will be the second extension of the state of emergency in Portugal, initially declared on March 19 and renewed for the first time on April 2.
The procedure to authorize the new extension, which requires the green light from the Government and the approval of Parliament, is expected to take place next week, since the current extension concludes on the 17th.
Except for surprise, it will be approved without problems, at least by the Executive, since today the Prime Minister, António Costa, has assured that lifting the state of emergency “would be giving the wrong signal to the country.”
“We still cannot begin to alleviate (the containment measures), on the contrary,” he said in an interview on the TVI network, in which he stated that “the Easter season is critical” and that “a new one will surely emerge” COVID-19 wave in the coming months.
The latest official bulletin of the authorities highlights that in the last 24 hours contagions have increased by 11% in Portugal, an important rebound compared to the last days, in which the increases never exceeded 6%.
The slowdown in infections this week made the authorities think that the stabilization of the curve was approaching, although they have redoubled warnings to the population not to relax the recollection at home, especially during Easter, a period considered critical.
From yesterday, Thursday to Monday, Portuguese citizens are prohibited from moving outside their municipality of residence, unless a work justification is available, something that is controlled by around 35,000 agents of the Republican National Guard and the Public Security Police.
In addition, during these five days all airports in the country are closed to passenger traffic.