One in four Portuguese people with a monthly household income of 650 euros ($ 705) or less has lost all their income due to the economic impact of the coronavirus epidemic, a study by the National School of Health showed on Saturday. public.

“The economic consequences of illness and childbirth, such as unemployment or reduced sources of income, can disproportionately affect the most vulnerable groups,” said the study, which surveyed about 4,000 people between April 25 and May 1.

About 22% of the 4.9 million Portuguese workers take home the minimum monthly wage of 635 euros, the lowest in Western Europe.

Since the pandemic hit Portugal, 25% of people with a household income of up to 650 euros have lost all their income, and only 6% of those with a monthly household income of 2,500 euros or more have lost everything , according to the study.

“Preliminary data seem to indicate that COVID-19 is significantly uneven,” he said, adding that the inequalities may increase the risk of becoming infected with respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus, as they may not have no choice but to leave home to work

“Work that cannot be done remotely or the need to continue doing small jobs for short-term livelihoods exposes people to greater exposure to infection,” he said.

Portugal, which reported 27,268 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,114 deaths, started to carefully relax its lock restrictions on Monday.

The Portuguese economy is expected to contract 8% this year and unemployment is expected to more than double to 13.9%, according to the International Monetary Fund.

In total, 91,500 people registered as unemployed between the start of the closure of Portugal on March 18 and the end of April, according to official figures, bringing total unemployment to just under 370,000 people.

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