In light of the fresh spike in COVID-19 cases in Portugal, the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) has called to strengthen the National Health Service (SNS) in the country in order to fight the pandemic. In a statement on November 1, the PCP also demanded that the government ensure fair wages for the working class and spread awareness among the public regarding COVID-19. On October 31, the Portuguese government announced new lockdown restrictions in 121 municipalities, including parts of Lisbon and Porto, effective from November 4. The government has asked people to confine themselves at home except for necessary outings for essential supplies, school, and work.
As of November 2, Portugal has over 60,000 active cases of COVID-19, with a record number of 4,656 cases registered on October 30, and 4,007 cases on the following day. Around 2,544 people have died in the country due to COVID-19, so far.
After the new restrictions were announced by the government, PCP leader Jerónimo de Sousa stated, “this epidemic, as the PCP has reiterated over the months, poses health, economic and social problems that are not solved by limiting rights and creating a climate of fear.”
“For the PCP, the priority in the fight against COVID-19 is the strengthening of the National Health Service, with the urgent reinforcement of professionals, increase in the number of hospital beds, more intensive care beds, normalizing the functioning of primary health care through the recruitment of family nurses, and widening the public health structure, [which is] a fundamental tool for detecting outbreaks and interrupting contagion chains,” he added.
On October 24, the Health Users Commission of the Municipality of Seixal had organized a demonstration and a public debate, Quinta dos Franceses park, in defense of the National Health Service and highlighting the role of health professionals. Paula Santos, deputy of the PCP in the Assembly of the Republic, also participated in the meeting and extended her solidarity.