Extended restrictions in Europe as contagion and deaths rise
Madrid Desk, 14 Jan (efe-epa) – Covid-19 infections and deaths are surging across Europe, promoting governments to toughen and extend emergency health and safety protocol in place.
Portugal will begin lockdown again on Friday in view of the exponential increase in coronavirus cases and related deaths since the end of December.
The Portuguese government said the lockdown would be in place for at least one month, but schools and basic services will remain open. Remote working is strongly recommended where possible.
Health minister Marta Temido ordered a suspension of all non-urgent activity and surgeries, save for life-threatening cases, given the pressure the pandemic is putting on the hospital system.
The country, with a population of 10 million, has had 8,236 coronavirus deaths and over half a million cases overall.
Italy has recorded 507 deaths in the last 24 hours, which means 80,326 people have lost their lives since the coronavirus crisis began early last year.
Italy has the second highest number of deaths in Europe, surpassed only by the United Kingdom, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
On Wednesday night the Italian government approved an extension of the state of emergency until 30 April and the current coronavirus measures until 5 March.