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Portugal orders measures to fight virus surge


Nepalnews
2021 Dec 01, 16:49, Lisbon
A woman is tested for COVID-19 in Abuja, Nigeria, Monday Nov. 29, 2021. Nigeria has detected its first case of the omicron coronavirus variant in a sample it collected in October, weeks before South Africa alerted the world about the variant last week, the country's national public health institute said Wednesday Dec 1, 2021. Photo: AP

Portugal is entering a so-called state of calamity -- the second this year -- to curve an upward trend in coronavirus infections despite having one of the strongest vaccination records in Europe.

The state of calamity is one step below the country’s top level of alert.

The country is tightening passenger control in airports, seaports and land borders, requiring negative coronavirus tests for most incoming visitors as part of the new set of rules that kick in Wednesday.

Face masks are again required in enclosed spaces and coronavirus vaccination or COVID-19 recovery tests are required to enter restaurants, cinemas, gyms and hotels.

Experts believe that Portugal’s vaccination rate, which at 87% of over 10 million residents is one of the highest globally, has shielded the country from the infection spikes experienced by northern European countries recently.

Still, hospitalizations have been rising since September. Authorities on Tuesday recorded 2,907 new infections on Tuesday, with 833 people in hospital, 116 in intensive care units and 15 deaths.

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