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Portugal’s COVID-19 cases hit record, Omicron dominates at 83% – Metro US

Portugal’s COVID-19 cases hit record, Omicron dominates at 83%

Lisbon residents rush for COVID-19 tests ahead of Christmas
Lisbon residents rush for COVID-19 tests ahead of Christmas

LISBON (Reuters) – Portugal reported on Friday a new daily record of 30,829 coronavirus cases, up from 28,659 the previous day, with the rapidly spreading Omicron variant accounting for an estimated 83% of all new cases, official data showed.

Health authority DGS registered 18 fatalities from COVID-19, up from Thursday’s 16, but that was only a fraction of the more than 300 daily deaths suffered in late January, when Portugal had just begun its vaccination campaign.

The number of patients in intensive care was steady at 145, also well below more than 900 in early 2021.

Portugal has one of the world’s highest COVID-19 vaccination rates with around 87% of its 10 million population fully inoculated.

In the run-up to New Year’s Eve, the government ordered nightclubs and bars to close, people to get mandatory COVID-19 tests to enter hotels, casinos and restaurants, and limited outdoor gatherings to 10 people.

(Reporting by Patrícia Vicente Rua; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Alex Richardson)

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