Portugal reports 4,788 new COVID-19 infections, 73 deaths

Portugal reported 4,788 new COVID-19 infections and 73 deaths in the past 24 hours, according to the latest figures released by health authority DGS on Sunday.

Portugal has seen 3,897 deaths and 260,758 infections due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with 83,942 casos cases active on Sunday, 1175 more than on Saturday . 

Portugal on Friday approved an extension of the state of emergency to help fight COVID-19. The state of emergency came into force on November 9 and enabled the government to impose a night-time curfew and lockdown on weekends after 1 pm across 191 municipalities. 

The state of emergency will now be extended until December 8. Prime Minister António Costa on Saturday announced new measures including mandatory use of masks in enclosed workplaces and restrictions on travel between municipalities on the two national holidays between December 1 and 8. There is a ban on travel between 11pm on 27 November and 5am on December 2 and between 11pm on December 4 and 5am on December 9.

Also, schools will close on the two Mondays before the holidays and employers are advised to let their employees finish up early in a bid to halt the virus.

Cases of COVID-19 in Portugal are relatively low compared to other European countries but a recent soar in cases is putting the health system under considerable pressure.  According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the country ranks seventh in Europe for the number of cumulative cases per 100,000 people.