P.Due to the increasing number of corona infections, ortugal has issued new restrictions for the capital Lisbon at short notice. Travel in and out of the capital region that is not absolutely necessary will be banned from Friday evening to Monday morning, as a government spokeswoman said on Thursday after a cabinet meeting. 800 of 1233 new infections nationwide had previously been recorded in Lisbon and the surrounding area.
“This is an additional measure that was not envisaged, but which the government has taken to curb the increase in incidence in the greater Lisbon area,” said government spokeswoman Mariana Vieira da Silva. On Wednesday, the highest number of cases since the end of February was recorded in Portugal with 1,350 new infections within 24 hours.
Warning of too rapid loosening, also in Germany
Besides Portugal, only Spain is currently recording an increase in new infections in the EU. There, the number of new weekly infections increased by 21 percent compared to the previous week, in Portugal the increase was 38 percent.
Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa had vehemently rejected a possible further lockdown at the weekend. The contagion rate alone does not justify drastic restrictions as long as hospital admissions are well below the winter high, he said. Prime Minister António Costa expressed himself more cautiously: “Nobody can guarantee that we will not have to go back to the lockdown.” Around a quarter of the almost ten million Portuguese are now fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, world medical chief Frank Ulrich Montgomery warns against too rapid easing steps in Germany in view of the particularly contagious delta variant of the corona virus. It is to be expected that the Delta variant in Germany will spread even faster than the other previous forms of the virus, Montgomery told the newspapers of the Funke media group. As long as not enough people have been vaccinated, the risk of infection in everyday life must be reduced.
In public transport, in shops and other indoor areas, FFP2 masks should definitely continue to be worn, said the President of the World Medical Association. The federal states should now check whether the easing they announced did not go too far. They should “have the political size to take back announced easing if the number of infections should rise again due to the delta variant”.
Montgomery cited the example of the British government. This had announced on Monday that due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant in the United Kingdom, the planned lifting of the last corona restrictions would be postponed by four weeks. Despite the vaccination progress in Great Britain, the delta variant is currently causing the number of infections to shoot up again. On Thursday, more than 10,000 new corona infections were recorded in one day in the United Kingdom for the first time since the end of February.
Montgomery described it as “the insidious thing” of the Delta mutant, which was first discovered in India, “that infected people very quickly have a very high viral load in their throats and can thus infect others before they even notice that they are infected”.