Portugal tightens restrictive measures as daily COVID-19 cases hit record high

LISBON, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Portuguese government tightened restrictive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, as the country registered on Thursday another 3,270 coronavirus infections, a record single-day increase since the beginning of the pandemic.

So far, Portugal has confirmed 109,541 COVID-19 cases. With 16 more deaths from COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, fatalities from the virus-caused disease in Portugal have reached 2,245 since March, according to data from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).

The majority of new cases (59.7 percent) were registered in the north of the country, prompting the government to announce more restrictive measures, such as the "duty to remain at home," in three municipalities, namely Felgueiras, Lousada, and Pacos de Ferreira, where the epidemic is spreading fast.

The government also announced a ban on movement between municipalities between Oct. 30 and Nov. 3, during which the "Day of the Dead" is celebrated.

Mariana Vieira da Silva, minister for the presidency and administrative modernization, said essential travel for work, school or medical consultation is allowed.

The government also declared national mourning on Nov. 2 for victims of COVID-19.

As the world is struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, countries including Germany, France, Italy, China, Russia, Britain and the United States are racing to find a vaccine.

According to the website of the World Health Organization, as of Oct. 19, there were 198 COVID-19 candidate vaccines being developed worldwide, and 44 of them were in clinical trials.

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