Soaring COVID Cases, Reimposed Lockdowns and Stringent Restrictions

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Portugal, one of the world’s most vaccinated nations, has reimposed some restrictions to stop a surge in COVID-19 cases, ordering all passengers flying into the country, even those fully inoculated, to show a negative test on arrival, reports WHBL.

Prime Minister’s Statement 

“It doesn’t matter how successful the vaccination was, we must be aware we are entering a phase of greater risk,” Prime Minister Antonio Costa told a news conference on Thursday. “We have seen significant growth (in cases) in the EU and Portugal is not an island.”

About the restrictions

Costa has also announced those fully vaccinated must also present a negative coronavirus test to enter nightclubs, bars, large events and care homes, and reimposed mandatory mask-wearing in indoor spaces.

Slovakia Lockdown decision

Slovakia’s government on Wednesday approved a two-week national lockdown amid a record surge of coronavirus infections, report USNews.

New measures 

Unvaccinated people will be required to get tested to go to work if they have not recovered from COVID-19. If working from home is not possible, people will need to have a document from their employers about where their workplace is with details on their working hours.

Walking a dog is allowed within 500 meters (yards) from people’s homes.

Economy Minister Richard Sulik said his Freedom and Solidarity party, a member of the four-party ruling coalition, vetoed a proposal to close most schools. But it agreed that schoolchildren and students will be tested on a regular basis.

Also, up to 1,000 service members a day will be helping the struggling health sector to deal with the pandemic, the government announced Wednesday.

Soaring cases

The announcement came after Slovakia set another record for coronavirus infections .

The Health Ministry said daily infections surpassed 10,000 for the first time, with 10,315 testing positive on Tuesday. That’s over 1,000 more than the previous record registered Friday.

With 13,080 infections in the last seven days per 1 million people, the nation of 5.5 million is facing the worst surge in the world, according to Our World In Data.

About the lockdown

The government was mulling a two- or three-week national lockdown that is supported by President Zuzana Caputova, who called it “unavoidable.” The details should be announced later Wednesday.

Jan Mikas, the government’s top official leading the country’s response to the pandemic, said Wednesday the new restrictions should affect everyone — the unvaccinated and the vaccinated.

Overall, Slovakia has registered 631,738 virus cases with 14,056 deaths.

Vaccine roll-out

On Monday, Slovakia already imposed new restrictions targeting the unvaccinated, who are banned from all nonessential stores and shopping malls. They’re also not allowed to attend any public events or gatherings.

At 45.7%, Slovakia’s vaccination rate is one of the lowest in the European Union.

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Source: USNews , WHBL

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