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INSA. Global Virus Investigation also speaks Portuguese

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INSA.  Global Virus Investigation also speaks Portuguese

“FROMand my lab will identify any methodology that we think might be useful to other labs around the world for discovering, characterizing or sequencing the genome of any microorganism, which we immediately share through scientific dissemination channels. It is networking,” explained researcher João Paulo Gomes of the National Institute of Health Doutor Ricardo Jorge (INSA) in Luz.

This is how discoveries are published in international public databases and “have free access” for “verification by the entire scientific community.” Even Twitter is for comments. Sharing, not competition, was “one of the few good things the pandemic has brought.”

Because it is important to identify the pathogen as quickly as possible – be it a virus, bacterium or other microorganism – to understand its behavior and help health authorities protect the population, for example, adjust vaccines.

Portugal is involved in several European projects in consortia with France, the UK, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Sweden and Denmark. The work is dynamic and in a team: “One country develops one methodology, another country develops another, we bring everything together, hold periodic meetings and disseminate it scientifically.”

As he told Lusa, Portugal contributes “not only to the laboratory part related to our sequencing capabilities, but also to the development of ‘software’ to better analyze the genomics obtained with this equipment.”

The head of the bioinformatics core of the Department of Infectious Diseases of the INSA says that over the past two years Portugal has been involved in half a dozen European projects, all of them in the field of “developing and optimizing methodologies to combat these microorganisms, especially viruses that are emerging and have a great ability to spread.”

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The spirit of sharing also manifested itself this year with the outbreak of “monkey pox”. “We managed to work very reliably and quickly, revealing to the scientific community not only what [vírus] had the potential to be less aggressive – since it is usually associated with African countries in the Congo Basin, and this was more associated with West African countries – but also that, after all, it had many more mutations than what could the scientific community, wait,” says Joao Paulo Gomes.

Result: Portugal became the first country to determine the genetic sequence of the virus and share it.

Regarding the coronavirus that caused the covid-19 pandemic, the researcher explains that Portugal was one of the first countries in Europe to be “invaded” by the BA.5 sub-option in March of this year, giving it an “advantage”. in the investigation.

Networking was essential. Some countries, the European Center for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have asked Portugal to publish the results in terms of vaccine efficacy against this subvariant.

In this collaborative atmosphere, reagents are also shared, which in Portugal facilitated the sequencing and monitoring of monkeypox cases: “There were laboratories that managed to develop a faster method for sequencing (…) reagents for several countries so that they could conduct tests in their country and publish the results.

The ultimate goal is always to speed up research and find solutions, because, according to the researcher, public health in Portugal is “no different from public health in Ireland, the United Kingdom or Spain.”

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This spirit of sharing and networking is also evident in INSAFLU, a bioinformatics tool developed at INSA that allows any laboratory in the world to quickly and easily analyze and integrate genome analysis into the surveillance of various viruses. It started mainly for the influenza (flu) virus, but has since been adapted to other microorganisms.

“Once the SARS-CoV-2 genome was published, we started adapting it to become the main tool for analyzing the genome of this new virus in Portugal,” said Vitor Borges, molecular geneticist responsible for the platform also used for the analysis. monkeypox virus.

“We have users from all over the world who can create their account on our platform and analyze their data,” he explains, highlighting the advantage that users are not required to have very advanced bioinformatics knowledge.

And what drives the platform? This is data coming from sequencing devices. “Let’s imagine DNA broken into millions of very small pieces. It is this basic material that is introduced into this platform and then allows you to collect, reconstruct the sequence of the virus, ”explains the researcher.

He recalls that genomic surveillance has been more consistent over the past year: “Typically, with influenza, the focus is on the seasonal period to try to understand what variants are circulating and so that – as a reference laboratory – international organizations can be informed. about what is spreading in Portugal and other countries.”

“Only this knowledge on a global scale allows, for example, the development of better vaccines that can predict the variants that will circulate,” he adds.

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Raquel Guiomar, who is in charge of the National Reference Laboratory for Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses at INSA, also speaks of the importance of this network and the international scientific cooperation that Portugal is involved in.

Since December 2021, he has been a member of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Viral Respiratory Disease Surveillance Network (DNCC) Coordinating Committee, which advises ECDC on matters related to viral respiratory diseases.

“The laboratory not only detects, but also isolates the influenza virus. And these viruses are sent to the World Health Organization reference laboratory in London for further characterization,” he says.

Read also: Covid-19: Portugal virus transmission index rises to 0.98

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5-star hotels lead the way in the restoration of Portuguese tourist sites

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5-star hotels lead the way in the restoration of Portuguese tourist sites

In October, the number of overnight stays in 5-star hotels increased by 15.9% compared to the same month in 2019, which, according to additional information, namely from the DMC (Tourist Inception Agency), is associated with a strong increase in tourism from the United States. states.

Information published today by INE indicates that in October, compared to the same month before the pandemic, the number of overnight stays in tourist establishments in Portugal increased by 6.2%, with the strongest increase in hotels, at 8.2%. in which, therefore, 62.1% is concentrated. overnight stays.

The information shows that 4-star hotels, where the largest number of beds are concentrated, had 48.9% of overnight stays in October, totaling 2.05 million, which is +7.6% or more than 144.7 thousand than in October 2019.

This was followed by 3-star hotels with 927.3k, but this increase was about half of 5-star hotels, by 7.6% or 65.5k, to 927.3k, and then 5-star hotels with 857. 4 thousand overnight stays, an increase of 15.9%. or 117.6 thousand compared to the same pre-pandemic month.

In contrast to the evolution in these categories, there were 2- and 1-star hotels, in which the number of overnight stays decreased by 2.7%, or ten thousand, to 360.8 thousand.

The cheapest apart-hotels (three and two stars) also saw a decrease in overnight stays, from -20.9% or less than 24.4 thousand, in hotels and farms in Madeira, from -0.4% or less, to about 300, and in tourist settlements, from -7.7. % or less than 17.5 thousand.

At the same time, the number of apart-hotels increased by 1.2%, or 8.5 thousand, to 717.5 million, due to the increase in 5-star hotels by 6.7%, or 6.6 thousand, to 104.9 thousand, and 4-star, by 5.4 thousand% or 26.4 thousand to 519.9 thousand.

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Overnight stays in tourist apartments also increased by 3.2%, or 13.6 thousand, to 437.8 million, local accommodation, by 0.6%, or 5.5 thousand, to 901.2 thousand, and , primarily tourism in rural areas and housing, with an increase of 45.2% or 67.3 thousand to 216.5 thousand people.

The INE data also shows that Portuguese tourist sites were the best in October in terms of overnight stays this year, with peaks achieved by 5-, 4- and 3-star hotels, 5- and 4-star apartment hotels, accommodation . and rural tourism and housing development.

See also:

The US market is already setting new annual records in Portuguese hotels

The Portuguese hospitality industry experienced the best October in terms of number of guests and overnight stays.

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Government approves strategy to combat “Portuguese underrepresentation” in Brussels

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Government approves strategy to combat "Portuguese underrepresentation" in Brussels

This afternoon the Council of Ministers will approve a national strategy to combat what it considers “underrepresentation de Portugal” in European institutions, in particular the European Commission.

“There is a significant shortage of Portuguese, especially those working for the Commission,” explains the Secretary of State for European Affairs in statements to Renaissance🇧🇷 The problem, according to Thiago Antunes, is not limited to middle management: “This is the first time Portugal does not have a CEO in the European Commission”.

The government wants to “correct this imbalance and fight this deficit in order to win.”ability to influence in decisions.” But it is not possible to increase the number of vacancies for the Portuguese, if only because there are no national quotas for employees working in institutions.

To go to Brussels or even work in Portugal on a full-time basis, you need to pass a series of tests prepared by EPSO (European Personnel Selection Office). 🇧🇷These are very difficult competitions.with very concrete evidence,” the official explains.

The strategy will be based on several pillars: training, increasing grants and encouraging the mobility of civil servants. The Portuguese government is going to create a national training center to “better prepare our candidates for competitions”; to bet on “dissemination of opportunities; increase the balls (by quantity and value); and create a statute that allows those who work in the public administration of Portugal to move into the European public administration.

The aim is to achieve “greater representation” in the European Commission in order to have “greater influence” on the decision. Although the strategy is to strengthen the Portuguese presence in Brussels and the employees do not work for Portugal.it doesn’t matter that they are portuguese“, he defends.

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Fruits may not appear early or may not even be measurable. “It will take some time until we see results,” admits the former secretary of state to the prime minister. But the wait does not stop the Portuguese government. “We have to start right now,” Thiago Antunes insists, pointing to the demographic problem among those working in Brussels. “There are a lot of Portuguese who came in at the time of our accession and are now retiring.”

The strategy aims to reverse the cycle of loss of Portuguese representation among the 27. The diploma will be approved this Wednesday in the Council of Ministers.

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“His manager is Portuguese and…”; The agent changes plans, and Luis Castro “arranges” the problem in the protection of “Botafogo”

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"His manager is Portuguese and...";  The agent changes plans, and Luis Castro "arranges" the problem in the protection of "Botafogo"

Botafogo

The defender must return from loan ahead of schedule, and the Glorioso coach will have to make a decision at the beginning of the preseason.

Photo: Jorge Rodriguez/AGIF.  First, Luis Castro does not have Diego Loureiro for 2023.
Photo: Jorge Rodriguez/AGIF. First, Luis Castro does not have Diego Loureiro for 2023.

With the end of the season Botafogo its reformulation is already underway with the participation of Luis Castro. Names like Carlinhos, for example, have already left General Severiano, but there is a tendency for the “purge” to continue a little longer. Especially with the return of borrowed athletes during the year.

goalkeeper case Diego Loureiro, who played on loan at Atlético GO, promoted to Serie B. Curiously, the Botafogo archer has a contract at Goiania until the end of 2023, but Dragao president Adson Batista is pessimistic about the player’s consistency.

“Diego Loureiro is a bit off because he still has a contract with Botafogo, his manager is Portuguese and he has a different vision.” said the director in an interview with radio Sagres from the capital of Goiás.

The goalkeeper played only two games for Atlético-GO, who were betting on Renan in the starting lineup. If he returns to Rio, Loureiro will likely see high competition in the black and white net as Luis Castro now has alternatives to Gatito Fernandes and Lucas Perry.

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