Despite a curfew implemented more than a week ago, Portugal’s COVID-19 cases continue rising at a high rate — which means the current curfew will likely be extended past Nov. 23. The good news? Portugal now has a task force whose goal is to make a vaccine available in January.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has reported that Portugal’s 14-day cumulative number of reported coronavirus cases per 100,000 people, at 785, is now higher than those of Spain and the U.K., both of which have been hit particularly hard from the very start of the pandemic, Reuters writes.
Portugal reported close to 6,000 new cases of positive tests over the past 24 hours — and an additional 79 people who contracted COVID-19 have died, Direção-Geral da Saúde reported this afternoon.
Most alarmingly, the number of COVID-19 patients in Portuguese hospitals is now 3,051, which is a new record.
It’s not surprising, then, that President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is calling for a renewal of the state of emergency. Parliament will vote on any measures tomorrow, November 20, according to Observador.
But the government is doing everything it can to be able to distribute a vaccine in January, Portugal’s health minister Marta Temido said in an interview with the Socialist Party on Wednesday, according to Expresso.
Several vaccine trials, including those from Russia, Pfizer, BioNTech, and Moderna, claim efficacy rates of more than 90%.