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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 21, 2024  1 month, 3 days, 21 hours, 6 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: Portugal Reports 28 Percent Increase In Excess Mortality In Last 4 Weeks! CHEGA Wants Investigations Into Possible Effects Of Vaccines!

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COVID-19 News: Portugal Reports 28 Percent Increase In Excess Mortality In Last 4 Weeks! CHEGA Wants Investigations Into Possible Effects Of Vaccines!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Jan 21, 2024  1 month, 3 days, 21 hours, 6 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: In a startling turn of events, Portugal, once lauded for its effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic, now finds itself grappling with an unprecedented surge in excess mortality rates. Recent data reveals a staggering 28 percent increase in excess deaths from December 18, 2023, to January 14, 2024, thrusting Portugal into the unenviable position of having the highest mortality rates in Europe. This alarming situation has prompted widespread concern and has sparked intense debates over the potential causes, with particular emphasis on the possible impacts of vaccines. The political party CHEGA is leading the charge for a thorough investigation into this disturbing surge in mortality rates.

 Excess Deaths Rising In Portugal
Portugal's Soaring Mortality Rates
The surge in mortality rates is particularly concerning, considering that Portugal had already been experiencing elevated levels of excess deaths since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In fact, most countries in Europe while reporting low COVID-19 deaths are witnessing an exponential rise in excess deaths.
The latest data from the Instituto Ricardo Jorge indicates a 28% increase in mortality within a month, translating to 2,800 more deaths than expected.
EuroMomo, the European mortality monitoring site, further corroborates Portugal's grim status as the country with the highest mortality levels in the European Union during the last weeks of December and the early weeks of January.
Overcrowded Emergency Departments and Delayed Care
Delving deeper into potential contributors to this alarming trend, experts, including the National Association of Public Health Doctors, are pointing to the overcrowding of hospital emergency departments as a likely factor. Limited resources and reduced healthcare capacity may have hindered effective care, resulting in delayed interventions for individuals in critical conditions. Dr Gustavo Tato Borges, President of the National Association of Public Health Doctors, emphasizes that despite the dedicated efforts of healthcare professionals, the difficulty of access to timely care may have exacerbated the mortality rates.
Vaccine Link Investigation
According to local COVID-19 News covearges, adding a layer of complexity to the situation, the political party CHEGA, led by André Ventura, is advocating for an investigation into the potential link between the joint administration of flu and COVID-19 vaccines and the surge in mort ality. Ventura suggests that the vaccines might impact the immune system, rendering traditional flu vaccines less effective. Official figures from January 12 reveal a significant increase in deaths, reaching levels not seen since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021.
CHEGA's Rise in Popularity Amidst Crisis
As the debate over the potential vaccine link intensifies, CHEGA is gaining traction in the polls, surpassing both the ruling PS and the PSD-led alliance. With 18% support in voting intentions, CHEGA's surge from the 7.18% achieved in the 2022 legislative elections underscores the public's growing concern and desire for answers amidst the escalating crisis. This increasing support for CHEGA also reflects a broader sentiment of skepticism and urgency among the population regarding the unprecedented mortality surge.
Government's Response and In-Depth Study
In response to the escalating mortality crisis, the government acknowledges the need for an in-depth study into the causes of excess deaths since 2020. The elevated all-cause mortality in Portugal, not solely attributable to COVID-19, prompts health authorities to explore various factors contributing to the alarming trend. The health ministry's commitment to understanding the determinants of mortality signals a recognition of the complexity of the issue and the urgency to provide answers to a concerned populace.
Possible Contributors to Excess Deaths
Beyond the immediate impacts of the pandemic, questions arise about the possible contributors to excess deaths in Portugal. The difficulty in securing hospital appointments, delayed access to healthcare services, compromised routine screenings, and the overall strain on the healthcare system during the pandemic are considered potential factors. Moreover, concerns are raised about the mass-vaccination campaign, with emergency use-authorized vaccines facing legal challenges and claims of adverse effects. This multifaceted analysis of potential contributors provides a comprehensive view of the challenges Portugal faces in managing its healthcare system amidst a crisis.
Mortality Patterns and Population Health
The unusual mortality patterns observed since the beginning of the pandemic, with over 10,000 deaths monthly, prompt further investigation into potential contributing factors. While COVID-19's role has diminished to 8% of total deaths, the persistently elevated mortality levels suggest a complex interplay of factors, including flu and cold seasons. Specialists, including the DGS and INSA, advocate for a deeper examination of the current mortality landscape, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive understanding of the underlying causes.
Forewarning of Collateral Damage
Miguel Guimarães, President of the General Medical Council, warns that the worst is yet to come, highlighting the collateral damage of the pandemic on healthcare. Factors such as patients avoiding medical help due to fear of COVID-19, the failure of various healthcare services, and the backlog of essential medical appointments contribute to an impending healthcare crisis. The need to recover millions of missed consultations and surgeries further underscores the challenges ahead. This forewarning serves as a stark reminder of the far-reaching consequences of the pandemic on overall public health and the healthcare system's ability to cope with the aftermath.
Portugal's alarming surge in excess mortality rates has prompted widespread concern and calls for investigations into potential causes. From overcrowded emergency departments to the possible impact of vaccines, the crisis is complex and multifaceted. As the government commits to an in-depth study, Portugal faces the challenge of unraveling the intricate web of factors contributing to the highest mortality rates in Europe. The collateral damage of the pandemic on healthcare, coupled with political debates and rising public anxiety, paints a challenging picture for the nation's road to recovery. Addressing these challenges will require a collaborative effort from healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public to navigate through the uncertainties and establish a robust strategy for mitigating the impact of the ongoing crisis.
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