Hopes Rise In Portugal But COVID-19 Still Slams Hospitals

Doctor Jens Peter Evers, left, leader of German military medical team and Doctor Joao Gouveia, right, head of the committee monitoring Portugal's intensive care response to the pandemic, look at a live video image of German doctor Katrin Thinns speaking from inside an ICU manned by German military doctors at the Luz hospital in Lisbon, during a news conference Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

(AP) — Hopes are rising in Portugal that the worst of a devastating pandemic surge might be over, as the number of COVID-19 deaths reported Monday was the lowest in three weeks.

The country’s pandemic picture is mixed, however. Hospital admissions rose for the first time in a week, but the advance of COVID-19 has by some metrics been slowing since the end of January.

Portugal, blaming the sudden fast spread on a COVID-19 variant first identified in England, went into lockdown on Jan. 15. Portugal became the world’s worst-hit country last month compared to its population, with a deluge of daily deaths and new infections.


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