By Ron Howells • 04 July 2021 • 7:09
Portugal to vaccinate 1.7 million in two weeks as covid infections rise. image: Wikipedia
Portugal plans to vaccinate 1.7 million over the next 14 days and will ramp up vaccinations among the younger population.
The Portuguese Government announced on Saturday, July 3, that it plans to vaccinate a further 1.7 million people against COVID-19 over the next two weeks as authorities scramble to contain a surge in infections caused by the more contagious Delta/Indian variant.
Cases in Portugal, a nation of just over 10 million, jumped by 2,605 on Saturday, the biggest increase since Feb. 13., taking the total cases since the pandemic began to 887,047.
Most of the new cases are being reported among younger unvaccinated people so daily coronavirus deaths, currently in single digits, remain well below levels reported in February when the country was still under lockdown after January’s second wave.
Portugal has so far fully vaccinated around 35% of its population, and those aged 18 to 29 can start booking vaccination appointments today, Sunday, July 4.
In a statement, the vaccination task force said it would use all installed capacity to vaccinate 850,000 people per week over the next 14 days to “protect the population as fast as possible” due to the “rapid spread” of the Delta variant.
Around 70% of cases in Portugal are of the Delta variant, which was first identified in India but has led to a wave of new infections worldwide. The variant is sweeping across the country, with the Lisbon region and tourist magnet Algarve being the most affected.
The speed-up of the vaccination rollout could lead to longer queues outside vaccination centres, the task force said.
The national health institute, Ricardo Jorge, said in a report the variant was putting increasing pressure on the health system. More than 500 COVID-19 patients are in hospital.
A night-time curfew came into force on Friday, July 3, evening in 45 municipalities including Lisbon, Porto and Albufeira– restaurants and non-food shops must close earlier at the weekend in some areas.
The majority of Portugal is back under a nighttime curfew. The inhabitants of the main cities such as, Lisbon, Porto, Braga and Faro, were prohibited from circulating on the street from Friday, July 2, between 23:00 and 05:00, the curfew being applied by the Government to stop the advance of the coronavirus, which is spreading uncontrollably thanks to the Delta variant
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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