Portugal reports record high COVID-19 infections

Portugal registered 21 deaths and 3,669 new cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, according to the latest figures by Portugal’s Directorate-General of Health (DGS).

New cases of COVID-19 infections were registered mostly in the north of Portugal, with 2,212 new cases. Around 67,842 people have recovered from the disease, and 1,962 have recovered in the past 24 hours.

Out of 1455 people in hospital (37 more people in the past 24 hours), 221 are in intensive care (23 more).

The country has seen a total number of 116,109 cases confirmed and 2,297 deaths from the coronavirus since the pandemic started.

The Portuguese government has banned people from travelling between October 31 and November 2 in an attempt to stop the spread, which is being blamed on family gatherings.

Health Minister Marta Temido has said there will be a tough winter ahead, with cases expected to keep climbing, following a warning by the World Health Organization.

Portugal’s lockdown was lifted gradually from May 2 after the country shut most non-essential services. The country declared a state of emergency on March 18, when it had a death toll of 2.

Portugal, which has one of the world’s highest testing rates, made coronavirus tests temporarily available through the SNS24 line on Friday. Temido said this was due to a high number of people approaching health centres to get a prescription for the test, which she said was placing too much pressure on the health system.

Europe is facing tougher restrictions as coronavirus cases swell. France and Italy’s bigger cities are facing curfews. Greek citizens have been told to stay off the streets between 12.30-5 am. The Czech Republic, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and France are currently the worst-hit nations, according to recent figures by Johns Hopkins University.