Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced on Wednesday that Portugal would remain under another “normal” imprisonment from Friday to curb the Kovid-19 epidemic.
The new health restrictions, which will remain in force for at least a month, will “essentially” correspond to those set in March and April, he said, following an extraordinary cabinet meeting.
But, this time, the schools will remain open, as will the courts or churches, the head of the socialist government said.
“The rule is simple: each of us must stay at home,” he said, confirming the closure of non-essential shops, cafes and restaurants.
Telecom will become mandatory as soon as possible.
Exceptionally, voters will be able to vote in the first round of presidential elections on January 24. Those who wish can hurry up this Sunday.
On the other hand, authorities will now require a negative test for the Kovid-19 for passengers landing at the country’s airports, Foreign Minister Agusto Santos Silva said earlier.
– “Dangerous moment” –
Due to an initial total accumulation, Portugal was relatively affected by the first wave of the epidemic, but then it became more difficult to drop the second wave, which swept into decline.
In order to halt the second wave of the epidemic, Portuguese authorities imposed partial control and curfew in the most affected areas in November.
The capital Lisbon was thus already subject to a one-night curfew during the week, which begins at 1:00 pm on weekends. In addition, shops and restaurants, such as cultural or religious places, had to restrict their hours, but did not close their doors.
But, after loosening these restrictions for the Christmas holiday, transmission of the virus has accelerated, and the country of ten million residents reached new records on Wednesday, with 156 dead and 10,556 cases detected in a single day walked. .
“We are living the most dangerous moment together, but also the greatest hope”, announced the Prime Minister, referring to the heavy toll of the epidemic and the vaccination campaign launched in late December across Europe.
“We must unite to curb this epidemic, crush this curve, and save lives,” he stressed.
– Hospital under pressure –
“We are coming back to the situation in March. (…) We know it means financially but we have to go back”, he lamented.
After Christmas, the country found itself “in a very difficult position”, with the President of the Medical Association at the National Association of Public Health, Dr. Ricardo Mexia told AFP.
According to him, the fugitive epidemic is explained by a waiver of sanctions, but with the arrival of the British version of the Cold Mantra and Kovid-19, revealed in Portugal in late December, but whose impact is “difficult to quantify”.
According to data collected by the AFP from national authorities, Portugal ranked sixth among countries in the world for the number of new infections in relation to their population during the last seven days.
A week ago, the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, was anxious to see the country’s hospitals with “enormous pressure”, which is steadily increasing with just over 4,200 people. About 600 were admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, including in intensive care.
Anabella Oliveira, director of emergency at Santa Hospital, told AFPTV on Monday, “If it continues in a similar way, we will reach the maximum level of our emergency plan, and we are already struggling to recruit patients.” ” Maria in Lisbon.