Bancolombia, Nutresa and Alpina, the leading companies in the Merco Colombia 2020 ranking

Salomón Asmar Soto –

In the Merco Empresas y Líderes Colombia 2020 ranking, a study that allows evaluating the reputation of companies and business leaders in the country, the first six positions of the ranking of the 100 companies with the best corporate reputation in Colombia remained unchanged with respect to to the 2019 edition, being occupied in their order by Bancolombia, Grupo Nutresa, Alpina, Sura, Ecopetrol and Bavaria.

“To be chosen by Merco as the company with the best reputation in Colombia in 2020 is a commitment to the country. We will continue to lead the way of a bank with a purpose, which listens to the needs of citizens and companies, ”said the president of Bancolombia, Juan Carlos Mora.

Likewise, for the first time they entered the top 10 Arturo Calle, who climbed a dozen positions, going from the seventeenth position occupied in 2019 to the seventh place, and Crepes & Waffles, which occupied the position number 10 in 2020, after being in 2019 in position 18. The rest of the top 10 is made up of Grupo Éxito (eighth place), which comes from position number 13 in the previous edition; and in position 9 was Cementos Argos.

“We celebrate that the companies of Grupo Empresarial Argos are recognized among the most admired by Colombians and with the best reputation. We receive the news with humility and with enormous enthusiasm to continue building through responsible business practice and generating shared value for all stakeholders ”, said the president of Grupo Empresarial Argos, Jorge Mario Velásquez.

This ranking of companies showed a predominance in the reputational issue of the companies of the group known as Grupo Empresarial Antioqueño, to the point that in a statement, Grupo Sura even celebrated the good behavior of the companies that are part of its investment portfolio. “Bancolombia obtained the first place, Protection was located in number 49, Grupo Nutresa was placed in second position and Grupo Argos advanced to position 23 and its subsidiaries Cementos Argos and Celsia occupied positions 9 and 43, respectively,” they explained.

List of entrepreneurs

The Merco Empresas y Líderes Colombia 2020 ranking also rated the entrepreneurs with the best corporate reputation. Arturo Calle, went from fourth place to lead the list; followed by Carlos Ignacio Gallego, from Grupo Nutresa; and by the president of Bancolombia, Juan Carlos Mora Uribe. The top five of the companies was closed by Felipe Bayón Pardo, from Ecopetrol, who climbed four positions; and Carlos Mario Giraldo Moreno, from Grupo Éxito, who remains in fifth place.

Two women were also highlighted in the top 10 of entrepreneurs: Beatriz Fernández, from Crepes & Waffles, and Sylvia Escovar, from Terpel, who holds a position in that distinguished group for the second consecutive year.

“We are proud and grateful to Colombia for this recognition. It reflects the hard work of a tireless and passionate team to generate memorable experiences for our clients. What pride to serve the country through an innovative offer and an inclusive organizational culture, which is committed to equity and respect for diversity, and through a strong commitment as AliadoPaís, which leads us to put the interests of Colombia first! those of the company! ”Escovar said in a statement.

Sample growth

The total sample of the Merco Empresas y Líderes field had an increase of 19% compared to the previous year, going from 60,977 surveys to 72,591 for 2020, made to company executives, communications directors, opinion leaders, financial analysts, journalists of economic information, government, NGOs, unions, social media managers, the general population, among others. “In general, all citizens have realized their good or bad behavior and their social contribution to a greater or lesser scale,” said the CEO of Merco, José María San Segundo.


Neymar’s hat-trick leads Brazil to another victory … and Argentina unravels the “La Paz knot”

The two ancient teams led the South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup

Neymar da Silva led Brazil to confirm his strong start and achieve the second successive victory by scoring a hat-trick against Peru (4-2), while Argentina broke a 15-year-old knot in La Paz by defeating its host Bolivia 2-1 in the second round of the South American qualifiers. Qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Brazil and Argentina took advantage of the stumbling of their former partners in the lead, Colombia and Uruguay, the first by drawing 2-2 with Chile at the top of the round, and the other by losing to Ecuador 2-4, to move two points away from Colombia and three points from Uruguay.

In the first match, the French striker of Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar, imposed himself a star by scoring a hat-trick in which he became the second-best scorer in the history of the Brazil national team with 64 goals after the phenomenon surpassed Ronaldo, who stopped his score at 62 goals in 98 games, including the double winning the fifth and final World Cup Which was crowned by Brazil in 2002 at the expense of Germany (2 – zero).

Neymar commented on his achievement in a tweet in which he praised Ronaldo, saying, “All my respect to you – Fenomeno – (the phenomenon)”.

“King” Pele tops the list of historic scorers for the Brazilian national team, with 77 goals in 92 international matches. Neymar scored the first tie for Brazil in the 28th minute, with a penalty kick that he got himself after the visitors led the goal of Saudi Al Hilal striker Andre Carrillo in the sixth minute with a shot from inside the area.

The Paris Saint-Germain star gave his country the lead for the first time in the match when he scored his second and third personal goal for Brazil in the 83rd minute from a penalty kick that he also got himself, before securing his victory with Hatrick, he scored the fourth goal in the last minute of his 103 international match when he used a rebound From the post after a powerful shot by the substitute Everton Ribeiro.

Peru advanced for the second time in the match with the goal of Celta Vigo midfielder Renato Tapia in the 59th minute with a powerful shot that hit Brodrigo Caio and hugged the net, and Everton striker Richarlison equalized when he followed the header of Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino after a corner kick that Neymar set off.

Brazil received a painful blow early, hitting its defender and Paris Saint-Germain Marquinhos in the thigh, so he was forced to leave his place. On the other hand, Peru spoke to nine players in the last minutes after Carlos Cassida was sent off in the 86th minute and Carlos Samprano in the 89th, noting that she played the match in the absence of her players, Raul Ruydiaz and Alex Valera, due to infection with the new Corona virus.

Brazil repeated its victory over Peru in its last visit to Lima in the qualifiers for the World Cup 2018, when it came out with two clean goals in the twelfth round, and also avenged its defeat by Peru 0-1 in a friendly in Los Angeles in September of last year, which saw them confront them three times. Among them, twice in the Copa America finals in Brazil, and the landlords won twice: 5-0 in the first round, and 3-1 in the final match, before Peru achieved a moral 1-0 victory in an international friendly match in Los Angeles, USA.

It is the second consecutive victory for Brazil in the current qualifiers after the first crushing victory over Bolivia 5 – zero in the first round, so it was the only one to lead with six points on goal difference in front of Argentina, who won over Bolivia 2-1.

Argentina defied difficult conditions by playing at an altitude of 3,600 meters above sea level and loosened a 15-year-old knot in La Paz.

Lautaro Martinez scored in the 45th minute and Joaquin Correa (79) scored the two goals of Argentina, and Marcelo Moreno (24) scored the goal of Bolivia.

It is the first victory for Argentina to host Bolivia in their own home since 2005, specifically on March 26 in the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, when they beat them 2-1. It is only the fourth victory for Argentina in La Paz in the history of confrontations between the two teams.

Argentina lost twice in the last three trips to La Paz without tasting the taste of victory, including a historic loss 1-6 in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers led by coach Diego Armando Maradona on April 1, noting that it lost the last match between them in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers when it fell. A clean double in La Paz in the 14th round resulted in the sacking of coach Edgardo Bauca and the appointment of Jorge Sampaoli in his place.

Argentina put an end to its suffering when it came to Bolivia at the Olympic Stadium, “Hernando Siles”, at an altitude of 3600 meters, and scored a precious second successive victory in the qualifiers after the unconvincing first over its guest Ecuador 1-0 in the first round. Brazil came to the top of the standings with six points. .

On the other hand, Bolivia suffered its second consecutive loss after the first humiliating defeat to its host Brazil, 0-5.

The summit of Chile and Colombia ended in a 2-2 draw. Colombia was the first to score by English midfielder Jefferson Lerma in the 7th minute, and Chile turned the table with two goals for Inter Milan stars Arturo Vidal (38) from a penalty kick and Alexis Sanchez (42), but the captain Veteran Colombia and Galatasaray goalscorer Radmil Falcao equalized for Colombia in the last minute.

It is Chile’s first point in the qualifiers after losing to Uruguay 1 – 2, while Colombia raised its tally to four points after defeating Venezuela 3 – zero.

Ecuador hit hard with its big victory over Uruguay 4-2, and the landlords advanced with a clean quarter, which took place in the 15th minute Moses Caicedo, Michael Estrada (45 and 53) and Gonzalo Plata (75), before Uruguay responded with two goals from Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez in the two minutes. (The 83rd and 90th penalty kicks) without avoiding the first loss. Ecuador compensated for its loss against Argentina in the first round 0-1. Paraguay achieved its first victory after it drew with Peru 2-2 in the first round, by defeating its host Venezuela, with the goal of Gaston Jimenez, which followed the second loss to the owners of the land.


Silver abroad

Business adulation is a constant, but to understand what they think, you have to see what they do with their money. The data is not encouraging, every time less private capital arrives to the country. Net private equity withdrawals contracted 63% as of September 30, from US $ 9,645 million to US $ 3,588 million. It is normal for investors to withdraw from emerging markets to find refuge in the US in times of turmoil. This adjustment may go further than Colombia’s economic fundamentals. That US $ 6,057 million stop arriving is not a minor issue; if the withdrawal of private capital continues to increase, it is a message not only for the Government but for the country.

It is understandable that during the pandemic, foreign direct investment, which invests in tangible assets, is put off in the face of uncertainty. In Colombia, this decreased by US $ 1,880 million in September, 26% compared to the previous year, reaching only US $ 5,371 million. The improvement in other sectors, by US $ 432 million, does not compensate for the 43% drop in hydrocarbons. For what there is no covid is for the direct investments of Colombians abroad, which increased by US $ 5 million.

In the TES auction in September, foreign funds broke a record with net purchases of US $ 1.5 billion. These reflect the confidence of the financial community in the management of macroeconomic policy. Another country that had our debt figures, would have already lost investment grade. Colombia’s appetite for risk also reflects the US $ 10 trillion of global stimulus on account of the covid-19. Excess liquidity, together with interest rates close to 0%, makes Colombia’s yields attractive. This inflow of foreign capital should have led to an appreciation of the peso, but the exodus of local capital is what sustains the change at about $ 3,850.

The portfolio investment flow of Colombians abroad as of September went from US $ 985 million to US $ 4,698 million. This is explained by the increase in pension funds, trusts, and collective portfolios of US $ 4,531 million. The diversification of assets and currency, in the light of today, clearly benefits the Colombian pensioner. The mere fact that 37% of the pension portfolio is in dollars means that these investments are 17.6% higher in pesos. What is unfortunate is that there are no good investments in the country.

The phenomenon in Colombia is not unique, according to the IMF, 30% of the debt capital has been withdrawn in emerging markets. What is different is that usually in crises, foreigners get the money and locals stay, not the other way around. This year the government has repatriated US $ 8,896 million, halting the devaluation of the peso. Next year only US $ 2 billion of repatriation from the government is expected. Absent this phenomenon we can have foreign exchange surprises.

Now more than ever we need economic coordination and messages of stability. If the Government decides to return to the Banco de la República an appendix of the Ministry of Finance, it better have loose votes. A prolonged struggle to define its management does damage beyond the institutional one. If political uncertainty scares, the institutional struggle has just killed.


The Finsocial entity will request a license to operate as a digital bank starting next year

The banking system is preparing for the arrival of new players next year. To the requests of BTG Pactual, JP Morgan and Lulo Bank to operate as banks in the country will be added that of Finsocial, a company that grants loans to public sector teachers and pensioners from Colpensiones, Fopep (Public Pension Fund), Casur (Retirement Salaries Fund of the National Police), Positiva and Fiduprevisora.

Santiago Botero, CEO of Finsocial, confirmed in an interview with LR that he expects the fintech to become a 100% digital bank by the first half of next year. However, the estimated time will depend on the length of the validations and analysis by the Financial Superintendency to grant the license.

“Right now a new partner is coming to Finsocial. There are five companies interested and I estimate that before the end of the year all the details of this transaction will be known. The firms behind this operation are foreign, there are North Americans and there is also a very large European fund, ”added Botero. Once this operation is completed, the license application will proceed.

The CEO of Finsocial also assured that the bet to become a bank occurs because, first, they have the resources to achieve it and, second, because they have already done the most difficult thing that these entities do, which is to learn to lend money and know how to manage the risk in those operations.

Taking into account the experience they have in the sector, Botero advanced some details of how the entity will work, once the Superfinancial gives them the guarantee. The first thing the executive highlighted is that the entity will raise money, offer other lines of loans that go the same way with its commitment to “safe credits”, and will have a credit card.

“We are doing the papers with Mastercard, but I think we will also have with Visa,” said Botero, who added that they will have a savings account in which they offer some type of return to customers and will have collection mechanisms such as CDT and Other than products that there are and that adjust to the needs of the users.

With the start-up of the operations of Finsocial, Lulo Bank, JP Morgan and BTG Pactual as banking entities in the coming months, the Colombian financial system will complete 29 banks, of which it has been confirmed, so far, that two would be neobanks, which are Finsocial and Lulo Bank. It is worth clarifying that Nubank will not yet function in Colombia as a bank.

In the midst of this avalanche of requests and the fact that about 90% of the municipalities in Colombia are not yet implementing electronic payment systems, according to a study by Visa, Botero said that betting on a digital offer is not a limitation because plans to take advantage of the 29 offices they currently have as an anchor to teach users about digital banking, as they have been doing so far.

Finsocial is committed to becoming a bank at a time when it has 30,000 clients and a loan origination goal of $ 290,000 million, at the end of this year, which would represent an increase of 30%.

Based on bets such as that of Finsocial, David Nieto Martínez, professor and coordinator of the financial area of ​​the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences of the El Bosque University, assured that one of the sectors that has had to reinvent itself the most is the financial one, the which had a greater pressure in terms of digitization due to the different mobility restrictions that were had. This conjuncture increased the need for 100% digital entities such as neobanks.

Manuel de la Cruz, president of Banco Santander Colombia, assured that this is great news, as this helps to improve competition and competitiveness. “We hope that the regulator will ask these banks the same requirements as traditional banks,” he added.

Radiography of the sector
The four entities that are lining up to start operating as banks come at a time when the profits of the 25 entities reached an accumulated $ 3.53 trillion at the end of July of this year, that is, 42.5% below the levels registered during the same period of 2019, when profits were $ 6.14 trillion, according to data from the Financial Superintendency.

In addition to entering a financial system that is hit by the economic crisis unleashed by COVID-19, the new entities will have to face a scenario in which Bancolombia and Davivienda are the banks that moved more than 69% of total operations registered by the financial system at the end of June 2020, with 2,701 million and 515 million transactions, respectively.

The movements of the two banks occurred in the middle of a context in which the number of operations that Colombians carried out through the financial system was 4,663 million at the end of the first semester. These moved a total of $ 3,599 billion, which represented an increase of 10.5% compared to the data for the second half of 2019.

It is worth noting that operations in virtual channels continue to increase. Through these, 74% of the total operations were carried out: 2,469 million through mobile banking and 966 million through internet, with shares of 53% and 21%, respectively.

Finsocial’s bets aimed at supporting communities
Botero assured that in the midst of the crisis that the country is going through, Finsocial has committed to creating products that support the economic development of different communities. A sample of this bet is that the entity launched three initiatives during the pandemic, which are FinsoAmigo, Finsoalivio and FinsoTienda. “To this is added that Finsocial plans to issue social bonds for $ 160,000 million. We plan for these bonds to come out before November ”, added the CEO of the company.


Mexico, Brazil and the United States, when are international flights expected to reopen? NCZE

Carlos Gutiérrez, general manager of the Association of International Air Transport Companies (AETAI), pointed out that this Monday, October 19, the deadline for the government to evaluate opening routes with new countries for the. As it is recalled, two weeks ago air traffic was restored with seven countries in the region, under the rule that flights could only last four hours.

“We are waiting for the government to authorize the other countries that were out of the first package. As an association, we propose that the restart of operations take place with countries that have open borders, but it was not like that. It was also indicated that within these two weeks, that is, next Monday, the issue would be reviewed. The idea is that it be extended because there is no reason to maintain the four-hour limit ”, Gutiérrez indicated.

He highlighted an IATA report that indicates that worldwide there have only been 44 cases of contagion among more than 36 million passengers on air flights. Since it is proven that there are very little possibilities of contagion inside the cabin, Gutiérrez hopes that the flights will open with Brazil, Mexico, , and Central American countries, such as Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

Regarding flights to the , All America is banned from entering, except Uruguay and Canada. However, the AETAI executive considered that connecting flights in Europe should be authorized to travel to other countries such as Russia. Likewise, by the time contagions drop and the veto for the region is lifted, regular flights will be restored.

For its part, He indicated that as soon as the flight hours are extended to six hours, Miami, Mexico and Sao Paulo will be incorporated. “We calculate that in November it would already be expanding”, referred.

With Sao Paulo there is a lot of commerce, which is reflected in the flow of businessmen. Also, when the flights to Brazil open, it will connect with Asia and the Arab countries, through airlines such as Emirates or Qatar Airways, Canales said.

Added that many foreigners who do not have direct flights to Peru are using places like Panama City, Bogotá, Quito and Santiago de Chile, as a stopover to come to our country. Especially Americans who have to come for work.

“There is a lot of order at the airport and discipline on the part of the users. On Monday I traveled and I was able to verify that the protocols are being met, there is physical distancing, and the flights are at 70 or 80% capacity ”, Canales pointed out.


He Ministry of Transport and Communications announced last Thursday that in the first week of restarting the international flights (October 5 to 11), 4,024 passengers entered and left Peru. The route with the highest demand was with 3,081 flights between both cities.

For Carlos Canales, one reason is that Chile is the country with the greatest bi-national business development. “There are important Chilean investments in Peru, we have investments in retail, agroexport, fuel, telecom, shopping centers, food production, etc. “.

The second reason is the number of Peruvians who are also residents in Chile and there is a lot of transport of people who want to return to the country. “Also, since there is a reasonable price to travel to Chile, it is accessible to visit relatives, and that has caused a great demand”.


This is the plan to prepare the commercial landing of the Swedish multinational Ikea in the Chilean market

Financial Newspaper – Santiago

It is not that they have to speak Swedish, or know a complete Abba album, but the 60 people who prepare the arrival of Ikea to Chile have been learning for months about the culture of the iconic furniture and decoration store. And from your country of origin.

Since May 17, 2018, when Falabella hit the ground running and announced that it had acquired the franchise to install the brand created 75 years ago by Ingvar Kamprad in Chile, Colombia and Peru, the work began incessantly. US $ 600 million were allocated to refurbish premises and hire personnel.

In addition, a regional board of directors was formed chaired by the former corporate general manager of Home Improvement, Enrique Gundermann and made up of Alejandro Arze, Jordi Gaju, Juan Fernando Correa and Sergio Muñoz. All men from Falabella.

Nothing random
And the process has been quiet, in part, because many of the decisions have to be made with the permission of Europe. According to those who know the business, the Nordics have an impressive level of detail, especially for the Chilean standard.

And it is that anyone who has entered an Ikea store in Paris, Madrid or Stockholm perceives the same distribution of the aisles, and even very similar music and aromas. And all that, they want to transfer it to Santiago, Bogotá and Lima. Nothing can be left to chance, they emphasize.

The first thing was to find locations, or rather to choose which Homy stores would switch to the Ikea format, since the Homy stores will gradually disappear, although they will remain as a brand within the Sodimac Homecenter and on The Homy of the Kennedy Open in Las Condes and the Tottus of the Plaza Oeste in Cerrillos were chosen.

In the case of Chile, the locations should be opening in the first quarter of 2022, for Colombia and Peru there is no date, but yes or yes it will be after Chile.

It was first planned to do it in early 2021 in Santiago, but the pandemic delayed everything. Even several months the work stopped completely, although inside the Open Kennedy store, for example, it is still used as a kind of warehouse, to deliver the sales made through the website.

The place of delivery to the client is right in the Sodimac of the same shopping center of the Falabella group next to Parque Arauco. But in parallel with the search and commissioning of these locations, they had to put together a team.

Well located places, with a lot of neighboring residential sector and with different socioeconomic segments. While in Colombia it will be in the Calima shopping center, which Mall Plaza has just acquired; and in Lima, there is still no defined place.

Read the full note here


Covid-19 | Médio Tejo adds 13 more cases, one of which at the Santa Margarida School Center (C / AUDIO)

A girl of eight who attends primary school in Santa Margarida is the most recent case of Covid-19 infection in Constância. Illustrative photo: (Reinaldo Rodrigues / Global Imagens)

The Grouping of Health Centers (ACES) of the Middle Tejo registered 13 new cases of infection with the new coronavirus in the last 24 hours, 4 of which in Torres Novas, 3 in Ourém, 2 in Abrantes, and 1 in Tomar, Alcanena, Constância and Entroncamento. One of the cases occurred at a school in Santa Margarida da Coutada, Constância, in an 8-year-old girl. With a total of 858 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic, the region still has 515 people recovered from the disease (+13) and 22 deaths. Portugal now registers 13 more deaths and 2,153 infection cases related to the covid-19 pandemic.


One of the cases reported today concerns an 8-year-old girl who attends the 1st cycle at the Centro Escolar de Santa Margarida, in the municipality of Constância, with the director of the School Group, Olga Antunes, reporting to that the school, which has a total of 130 students from preschool to the 2nd cycle, immediately triggered the contingency plan and that the class, with 14 students, will stay at home next week until carrying out and knowing the results of the tests at the new coronavirus. Also two teachers and an assistant will stay at home until they have the test results.

Maria dos Anjos Esperança, Public Health Delegate of ACES Médio Tejo, in turn, reported an outbreak in a factory in the industrial area of ​​Abrantes, with five confirmed cases in the company Momsteel in three men and two women, with the data on the map not yet reflect these data. The contingency plan at the factory, which is working normally, has been activated, the official said yesterday. The professionals close to the infected have all been tested and the results will have been negative.

In the 11 counties of ACES Médio Tejo, with a total of 858 confirmed cases (+13), Ourém has 209 positive cases (+3), Tomar has 183 (+1), Entroncamento 170 (+1), Torres Novas 103 (+ 4), Abrantes 83 (+2), Mação 44, Alcanena 30 (+1), Vila Nova da Barquinha now has 15, Ferreira do Zêzere 9 and Constância 8 (+1). Sardoal has 4 confirmed cases.

At ACES Médio Tejo, Entroncamento today has 47 people under active surveillance, followed by Torres Novas (41), Ourém (37), Abrantes and Tomar (29), Alcanena (13), Constância (10), Vila Nova da Barquinha and Ferreira do Zêzere (4), Mação and Sardoal (2).

Today, this ACES registers an accumulated total of 858 infected people (+13), 515 recovered (+13), 218 people under active surveillance (+3) and 22 deaths (-).

At ACES in Pinhal Interior Sul, Vila de Rei has had a case of infection since the beginning of the pandemic. Sertã has an accumulated total of 36 confirmed cases, of which 19 people are recovered from the disease and 17 cases remain active.

With about 250 thousand inhabitants, the 13 municipalities of the Middle Tejo today add up to a total of 895 confirmed cases of infection by the new coronavirus (858 in ACES Médio Tejo and 37 in ACES Pinhal Interior Sul), 534 people recovered (515 in ACES Médio Tejo , 18 in Sertã and 1 in Vila de Rei) and 22 deaths.

In all 13 municipalities of the Middle Tejo, there are 729 cases of infection registered in the post-confinement period, 580 more than those reported in the initial phase of containment of the disease.

In Alto Alentejo, Gavião registered in August the only nine cases of covid-19. Ponte de Sor has a cumulative total of 25 positive cases. At least five of the cases relate to people who do not reside in the municipality and who have not updated their tax residency, so the municipality only refers to the occurrence of 20 cases.

Lezíria do Tejo, in turn, has an accumulated total of 1264 patients, of which 489 cases in the municipality of Santarém, according to data from the Regional Network. Chamusca has a total of 37 confirmed cases, including one death, and Golegã records 37 infections. The Lezíria region has 39 deaths, 24 of them in Santarém.

The Santarém district has an accumulated total of 2102 cases (1264 in Lezíria do Tejo and 858 in ACES Médio Tejo), and a total of 61 deaths (39 in Lezíria and 22 in ACES Médio Tejo). Lezíria do Tejo has a total of 960 recovered patients and ACES Médio Tejo has 515, which gives a total of 1475 people recovered from the virus.

Covid-19 | Portugal registers 13 more dead and 2,153 infected

Portugal registers 13 more deaths and 2,153 cases of infection related to the pandemic of covid-19, said today the Directorate-General for Health (DGS). According to the latest bulletin, released today, since the beginning of the pandemic Portugal has accounted for 98,055 confirmed cases and 2,162 deaths.

In surveillance, 52,543 contacts remain, 759 more than in the data revealed on Friday. The data released today reveal even more 1,853 recovered cases, making a total of 57,919. Portugal has 37,974 active cases, 287 more than on Friday.

By region, the North has 38,281 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,124 cases compared to Friday, and 950 deaths, six more than the previous day. Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, in turn, have 47,027 confirmed cases, 781 more than the previous day, and five more deaths, totaling 871.

The Center has 149 more confirmed cases to 7,983 and deaths remain unchanged at 277. Alentejo accounts for 1,956 confirmed cases, equivalent to an increase of 42 cases compared to Friday, and 27 deaths, plus one.

The Algarve region has now reported 2,171 cases, which translates into an increase of 47 cases, and 22 deaths, one more than the previous day. Madeira remains without registering deaths and has three more confirmed cases, totaling 320, while the Azores added seven more cases, accounting for 317, and the number of deaths has not changed, thus continuing at 15.

In turn, 1,014 people are in hospital, one less than on Friday. 148 patients are admitted to intensive care units, four more than the previous day. Of the total confirmed cases, 53,433 are women and 44,622 men. The new coronavirus has already killed 1,087 men and 1,075 women in Portugal.

The covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 1.1 million deaths and over 39.3 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report by the French agency AFP.

The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.

After Europe succeeded China as the center of the pandemic in February, the American continent is now the one with the most confirmed cases and the most deaths.

c / LUSA


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Santa Claus village is in crisis due to Covid

Christmas will arrive in just over two months, but in the hometown of Santa Claus this year there is not the usual air of enthusiastic expectation. Conversely, in Rovaniemi, the village in northern Finland that welcomes tourists from all over the world every year, local businesses and workers are struggling with the collapse of visitors. And with the prospect that things could even get worse. Blame the Covid-19 pandemic, which has so far reduced the arrivals of foreigners by as much as 78% compared to the previous year.

“For local businesses, of course, Christmas is in danger,” said Sanna Karkkainen, chief executive of the tourism organization Visit Rovaniemi. “Christmas itself will come, but how cheerful it will be, that’s the question mark.” According to Antti Antikainen, head of the Safarctica tour company, which offers snowmobile tours, bookings in the winter will drop by 50-80%. Local tourism companies, which employ around 8% of people in the region, have already started firing workers, says the agency Reuters. “For us it is as if Christmas has been canceled,” says Harri Mallinen, director of Apukka Resort in Rovaniemi.

Finland has recorded very few cases of coronavirus so far, but has also taken some of the strictest measures in Europe to prevent the arrival of foreigners. To date, the positive rate of swabs and the number of new cases per day remain at low levels, albeit slightly increasing. Also for this reason, the government has decided that from 5 October all citizens from the rest of the EU must remain in quarantine for two weeks. A measure that inevitably affects the tourism sector.

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To cope with this, Visit Rovaniemi has developed a anti-Covid protocol for those who want to reach Santa’s house in the coming months.


The risk of catching Covid-19 from an airplane is very low, according to a study

Published on :

US Army researchers have established that the risk of transmission of Covid-19 is almost zero on board long-haul Boeing 767s and 777s, provided all passengers wear a mask at all times.

The risk of catching the Covid-19 in a plane is very low if passengers wear a mask, according to a study carried out aboard long-haul Boeing 767 and 777 and published Thursday, October 15 by the United States Army Transport Command (US Transcom) and the Agency for advanced defense research projects (Darpa).

The researchers measured with fluorescent tracers and sensors the volume of contagious aerosols transmitted to other passengers by a dummy simulating an infected person, breathing normally. The most exposed passengers, materialized by sensors, were logically those seated either right next to the “infected” mannequin, or directly in front of or behind him.

However, according to some 300 tests carried out on the ground and in flight during eight days in a row in August, in cooperation with the company United Airlines, 99.7% of the infected particles had been eliminated in 5 minutes before reaching the closest passengers, thanks to the sophisticated ventilation system of the devices tested. If the spread is extended to the 40 seats closest to the contaminated person, the reduction in aerosols reaches 99.99%.

These results led military transport officials to conclude that even at full capacity, the level of transmission of the virus was zero during twelve flight hours.

“Encouraging” tests

The tests only investigated the hypothesis of an infected passenger, and assumed that all passengers wore a mask at all times and did not consider the risk of transmission of the virus from an infected passenger moving around the cabin .

But “they are encouraging,” noted the head of the study for Transcom, Commander Joe Pope. “For both the 777 and the 767, calculations show that it would take 54 hours of flying in a row to inhale enough viral load to get sick.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the US military has suspended most movements of troops and their families, causing delays in assignment changes and family relocations.

With AFP


In history, only 22 women have won a Nobel Prize in medicine, physics or chemistry

Laura Sofía Solórzano C –

The participation of women in the world of science and research has gained strength in recent years, which can be seen, for example, in the Nobel Prize in Medicine, Physics or Chemistry, that of 23 awards given to women during 119 years, about 27% have been in the last five years.

The truth is that before women’s suffrage, with the exception of the Polish scientist, Marie Curie, who won two Nobeles; one of physics in 1903 for investigations on the phenomena of radiation; and one of chemistry in 1911 for the discovery of radium and polonium, the women did not sound in the delivery of these awards more than as companions.

But 24 years later, more women would begin to be recognized. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Irène Joliot-Curie, daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie, became the second woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, she received the award in 1935 for her synthesis of radioactive elements; Dorothy Crowfoot from the UK received an award in chemistry in 1964 and almost half a century later, in 2009, Israeli Ada Yonath won the award for studying the structure and function of the ribosome.

This year, two women made history again, the scientists Emmanuelle Charpentier, from France and Jennifer Doudna, from the United States, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry; for discoveries related to DNA editing, a breakthrough that could help treat hereditary diseases and cancer.

In the case of medicine, Gerty Theresa Cori was the first woman to win a Nobel, she obtained it in 1947 for discovering the mechanism of the catalytic conversion of glycogen; in 1983, the American Rosalyn Yalow was added to the list and three years later the Italian Rita Levi-Montalcini also won the award.

The Nobel Prizes in Medicine are the ones that have awarded the most women in these three categories, 12 in total; the last one was handed over to Chinese scientist Tu Youyou five years ago for discovering a new treatment for malaria.

Furthermore, 58% of the prizes that have been given to women in this category correspond to American scientists; in the list it is the only nationality that is repeated; the other nobel winners are from Italy, Germany, France, Norway and China.

For the Nobel Prize in physics, the appearance of more women was a little slower, as 60 years passed for there to be a second award; Maria Goeppert-Mayer, an American national, was recognized in 1963 for discoveries related to the nuclear structure of layers.

In total four women have been awarded in this category; two of them in the current century: the Canadian scientist, Donna Strickland, received the award in 2018 for her contributions to laser physics and the American, Andrea M. Ghez, who obtained it this year for discoveries related to black holes.

In her award speech the scientist invited more women to get involved in the world of science, “I hope I can inspire other young women to the field. It is a field that has so many pleasures, and if you are passionate about science, there is much that can be done, “said Ghez.

A curious fact is that of the 22 women who have won the chemistry, physics and medicine nobles, only two studied at the same university, they are Rosalyn Yalow and Gertrude B. Elion, who were trained at New York University.

Catherine Cesa Luna, PhD in Microbiological Sciences from the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, in Mexico, comments that the work of women in science is becoming more and more noticeable and the struggle to remain visible continues over the years.

“One of the efforts is the creation of networks of scientists to support each other, share ideas, generate jobs, disseminate the work, and mainly promote sisterhood,” says Cesa against the advances of women in scientific cooperation.

Some of the factors that have led to more and more noblemen having a woman’s name is their inclusion in the workplace and education, access to more management positions and a considerable decrease in stereotypes.

However, in a world where 602 awards for medicine, physics and chemistryAs less than 0.3% were delivered to female scientists, there remains a great challenge for current and future generations to match the numbers.