Lisbon, Nov 21 Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa announced the renewal of the "state of emergency" in the country until December 8 to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I have just decreed the renewal of the state of emergency. The later measures are taken, the less effective they will be," Xinhua news agency quoted the President as saying in a televised address on Friday.
"Despite the slowdown in the growth of cases, the number of deaths, intensive care (patients), inpatients in general is increasing and may reach maximum values between the end of November and the beginning of December," he explained.
The President also warned of a possible third wave of the pandemic, saying: "A third wave is likely to occur between January and February, that will be even worse than we had now."
The renewal of the state of emergency for another 15 days was approved by the Portuguese Parliament on Friday, requiring compulsory confinement or active surveillance of people infected, as well as the total or partial closure of establishments, services and companies.
As of Saturday, Portugal has reported a total of 249,498 coronavirus cases and 3,762 deaths.
( With inputs from IANS )
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