LISBON, PORTUGAL (AP) — The Lisbon region’s surge in COVID-19 cases is powering ahead, with new infections pushing Portugal’s daily new cases to a four-month high as a report by health experts finds fault with the government’s pandemic response.
Portugal on Wednesday reported almost 1,500 new cases, two-thirds of them in the capital region where 2.8 million people live. Three people died in Portugal of COVID-19 over 24 hours.
The national 14-day cumulative COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people has risen to 130 – over double what it was three weeks ago. The pressure on hospitals remains manageable, with 437 virus patients admitted and 100 in intensive care. The Portuguese government has already banned travel into and out of the Lisbon region on weekends, though policing last weekend was patchy. Experts blame the delta variant for Lisbon’s virus spread, estimating it accounts for more than 70 per cent of cases. The government is widely expected to announce new restrictions for Lisbon after a Cabinet meeting yesterday.
To step up the pace of vaccinations, authorities on Wednesday re-opened an inoculation centre at Lisbon University’s sports stadium that is being operated by the Portuguese armed forces. Beginning on Monday, a walk-in vaccination centre will open in the capital’s riverside neighbourhood of Alcântara.