Over 2,000 new daily cases in Portugal virus surge

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Health authorities in Portugal reported over 2,000 new cases of coronavirus in 24 hours Wednesday, a high in a new wave of infections blamed on the Delta variant.

There were 2,362 reported cases in the country of 10 million people—the highest level since mid-February.

More than half were in the Lisbon capital region, official figures showed, with the numbers of hospitalised people also rising.

Latest figures also show that the Delta variant, which was first detected in India, has become the dominant strain in Portugal.

Hoping to halt the spread, the government has reimposed like reductions in opening hours for bars and restaurants in the worst-hit towns.

And there are weekend restrictions on travel between the Lisbon region and the rest of the country.

At the European level, Germany on Friday said only its own citizens and residents would be allowed in when travelling from Portugal, and would be subject to a quarantine.

Also Wednesday, Prime Minister Antonio Costa went into isolation despite being fully vaccinated, after one of his aides tested positive.

More than 50 percent of Portuguese people have received at least one vaccine dose and 32 percent have received both.

The country has suffered over 17,000 deaths and almost 900,000 cases since the pandemic began.

© 2021 AFP

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