Portugal is removing many of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions, after becoming the world leader in immunization deployment. The country has fully vaccinated nearly 85% of the population, according to Our World in Data.
The government has said that from October 1 it will remove limits on the number of people who can be in cafes and restaurants, weddings and baptisms, malls, concerts and cinemas. Bars and nightclubs will reopen, but only for people who have been vaccinated and people who test negative for coronavirus.
Prime Minister Antonio Costa said some restrictions must remain in place. Wearing face masks will continue to be mandatory on public transport, as well as in hospitals, nursing homes and shopping centers. People arriving from abroad by air or sea must always present a vaccination certificate or a negative virus test.
“The pandemic is not over,” he said. “The risk is still there.”
The restrictions are also lifted in Norway.
The country will reopen the company on Saturday, the government said on Friday, ending pandemic restrictions that have limited social interactions and hampered many businesses.
“It has been 561 days since we introduced the toughest measures in Norway in peacetime (…) The time has now come to return to normal daily life,” Prime Minister Erna Solberg said in a statement. press conference.
-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated at 7:25 am ET
What’s happening across Canada
Alberta’s health system chief said Thursday that since Sunday, hospitals have admitted a daily average of two dozen or more critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Dr Verna Yiu said the only way the healthcare system has been able to keep pace with these numbers is that some intensive care patients have died. Alberta normally has 173 intensive care beds, but has doubled that number to 350 by taking over additional space and reallocating staff.
According to an update released by Alberta Health Services on Thursday, 37 additional intensive care spaces have been added in the past seven days alone.
“There are currently 310 intensive care patients, the vast majority of whom are COVID positive,” the update said. “This is the highest number of intensive care patients since the start of the pandemic.”
-From the Canadian Press and CBC News, last updated at 7:25 a.m. ET
What is happening in the world
As of Friday morning, more than 230.6 million cases of COVID-19 had been reported worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University Case Tracker, which collects data from around the world. The death toll worldwide was over 4.7 million.
In the Asia Pacific region, South Korea reported its biggest daily coronavirus jump since the start of the pandemic as people returned from the country’s biggest vacation of the year.
The Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said more than 1,750 of the 2,434 new cases reported on Friday were from the greater capital area, where officials have expressed concerns over the erosion of the disease. vigilance of citizens despite the application of the strictest physical distancing rules, unless a lockdown since July.
In the Americas, a U.S. CDC advisory group recommended a booster shot of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine for Americans aged 65 and older and some adults with underlying health conditions that put them at risk for serious illness.
In Europe, coronavirus deaths in Russia hit a record high on Friday amid steadily rising infections.
Russia’s state coronavirus task force on Friday reported 828 new deaths, the country’s highest daily count from the pandemic. The previous record of 820 deaths per day was recorded on August 26 and on Thursday of this week the number of deaths per day reached 820 again.
In total, Russian authorities have reported some 7.3 million confirmed cases and more than 202,000 deaths. However, reports from the government’s Rosstat statistical service that count coronavirus-related deaths retroactively reveal much higher death figures.
In the Middle East, Yemen received its third batch of COVID-19 vaccines through the global COVAX vaccine sharing program, the health ministry said
In Africa, Egypt has authorized Russia’s single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine against COVID-19, the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which markets the vaccine abroad, said on Friday. The country approved Russia’s two-dose Sputnik V vaccine in February.
-From The Associated Press and Reuters, last updated 7:15 am ET