Friday 10/23/20
CORONAVIRUS

Portugal declares coronavirus state of emergency

The order, which comes into effect on Thursday and lasts for 15 days, authorizes the government to put limits on movement and public life in general.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa in Brussels. Photo: Dario Pignatelli/European-Council/File Photo.
Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa in Brussels. Photo: Dario Pignatelli/European Council/File photo.

Portugal declared a state of emergency on Wednesday over climbing coronavirus infection numbers.

The order, which comes into effect on Thursday and lasts for 15 days, authorizes the government to put limits on movement and public life in general, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said after a cabinet meeting in Lisbon.

Public gatherings will be limited to a maximum of five people, while private parties will only be allowed to include up to 50 people.

The public must wear masks outside their own homes, and the coronavirus "Stay Away" app must be used by those going to school and work.

Portugal's parliament must still agree to the measures.

The situation is "serious," Costa warned. The number of new recorded infections within 24 hours rose on Wednesday to 2,072 on Wednesday, marking the highest figure since the start of the pandemic.

91,000 cases

The country of 10.3 million people has seen a total of more than 91,000 cases, and 2,117 deaths from coronavirus.

The country's north and the area surrounding Lisbon are particularly badly hit.

The number of patients being treated in hospitals has shot up from 300 to almost 1,000 in just over a month.

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