LISBON, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Portugese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Wednesday that the country needs to prepare "now" for a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic next winter.
"We cannot repeat the confinement we had to impose during the period of the state of emergency and in the following weeks because society, families, and people will not be able to bear it again," said the prime minister in a speech during an event in the Park of Nations in Lisbon.
"We may not be able to do everything, but we have to work and do as much as possible to ensure the functioning of society, schools, companies and public administration services," he warned after announcing the program "Simplex 20-21" for digital transformation in public services.
According to the prime minister, it is necessary to "speed up the processes" because the colder seasons of the year will be "as or more difficult" than the beginning of the pandemic.
"In winter there is usually less immunity, and it is not by chance that there are more patients than in summer. We must wish the best, but we must prepare for the worst with what we already know today," he said.
Costa acknowledged, however, that Portuguese society, in general, is now more disciplined and more familiar with "masks, disinfectant gel, respiratory label, and physical distance."
"All services and companies are better organized to ensure these conditions. We must use the European resources available. We must accelerate and raise the ambition of what we can and must do," concluded the prime minister.
Portugal recorded eight more deaths caused by COVID-19 and 375 new cases of infection in the last 24 hours, bringing the total victims to 1,676 and the total cases to 47,426, respectively. Enditem