Thursday, December 2, 2021

Portugal sees sharp jump in COVID-19 cases, eye restrictions

LISBON, Portugal (AP) – Portugal on Wednesday reported the highest number of new daily COVID-19 infections since July, amid a surge in cases across Europe, although hospital admissions are growing at a slower rate in the country where 86% of people are vaccinated.

The Portuguese government is due to announce on Thursday what new pandemic restrictions it is introducing, seven weeks after canceling almost all of them due to high vaccination rates and an perceived lesser threat from the coronavirus.

The General Directorate of Health officially announced on Wednesday 3,773 new cases of the disease, of which 681 are in hospitals, 105 are in intensive care units and 17 are fatal. The number of patients requiring hospitalization was the highest since September.

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On November 1, Portugal reported fewer than 500 new infections, 360 hospitalizations, 60 in intensive care units and five deaths. These numbers were the same as a month earlier.

The growth reflects a broader spike in Europe, with some countries seriously tightening restrictions, but the government has said it does not foresee an immediate need for a lockdown.

Undersecretary of Health António Lacerda Sales said revaccinations will begin next week for people who have received a single shot from Johnson & Johnson – about 250,000.

The authorities are considering vaccinating children between the ages of 5 and 11.


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