Reported by Reuters.
In January, 5,576 people died of COVID-19, which is 44.7% of all 12,482 deaths since the pandemic began in Portugal, health officials said DGS.
For the rise in infections and deaths, Portuguese officials blamed a new, more contagious strain of coronavirus first identified in the UK. They also acknowledged that easing restrictions on social contacts during the Christmas holidays played a role.
The association representing funeral homes has warned that public hospitals are running out of cold storage facilities for the bodies of COVID-19 victims, and some, including Portugal’s largest hospital, Santa Maria, have installed additional refrigerated containers to ease pressure on morgues.
Since March 2020, more than 711,000 infections have been recorded in Portugal, of which 43% were in January.
Hospitals across the country, home to just over 10 million people, are under critical stress. The fast ones sometimes stand in line for hours for lack of beds.
Several EU countries have already offered their assistance to Portugal.