Portugal is going through what seems to be the beginning of a new wave of covid-19, which is beginning to be reflected in the number of daily cases, and also in hospital admissions.

The director of the Intensive Care Medicine service at Hospital de São João, Porto, says that the profile of hospitalized patients is clearly different from other vacancies in the country, which is reflected in the large vaccination coverage among the older population.

The profile of people with covid-19 in intensive care is clearly younger due to the absence of this older age group”, said José Artur Paiva, in an interview in TVI24.

Specifically, and at national level, 63% (almost two thirds) of patients admitted to intensive care are under 60 years of age, and 12% of patients are under 40 years of age.

Asked about a possible negative effect of the Delta variant in younger people, the expert says that there is no evidence that this mutation is more serious.

The also president of the College of Intensive Medicine of the Medical Association recalls that there may be serious forms of the disease in younger people, which is made clearer by the absence of hospitalizations in older people.

At this time, and according to data from José Artur Paiva, only a third of the patients admitted to intensive care were over 60 years old, which is due to the “vaccination coverage process”.

Given the expected increase in cases, hospitals are starting to prepare for an increase in admissions, in a situation that is now much better than at the beginning of the pandemic, in February 2020.

We have about 900 beds in intensive care, when we had 600. We are more capable now than 15 months ago”, said José Artur Paiva, noting that it is essential to reduce the rate of transmissibility.

Portugal has 25 more people hospitalized with covid-19, 902 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection and two deaths attributed to the disease in the last 24 hours.

In the epidemiological bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) it is noted that 502 people are hospitalized today with covid-19, the highest number since April 6, when 504 people were hospitalized.

There are 115 people in intensive care units, one less in the last 24 hours.

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