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Coronavirus live news: WHO approves AstraZeneca jab for emergency use; Portugal daily death toll at six-week low | World news

The good news came hours after grim data showing the once-booming tourism sector suffered its worst results since the mid-1980s last year as the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns worldwide grounded flights and kept visitors away.

There were 90 more deaths from Covid-19 reported on Monday, the first daily toll below 100 since early January, while the tally of new infections was down to 1,303, the lowest level seen since late December.

Portugal has so far reported 15,411 deaths – early half of them in January alone – and 787,059 cases.

A devastating post-Christmas increase in the coronavirus pandemic began to slow earlier this month after a strict lockdown was imposed in mid-January.

But an understaffed and under-resourced health service is still struggling to cope with the thousands in need of hospital care.

Portugal ramped up its coronavirus testing on Monday, mandating tests for anyone coming into contact with a positive case as well as fortnightly tests in schools, prisons, factories and construction sites in areas with high contagion rates.

A total of 2.2% of the population has been fully vaccinated so far, health minister Marta Temido told a news conference after she received her first shot, along with prime minister Antonio Costa.

The country is due to receive 2.5 million vaccine doses by the end of March, Temido said, still far below the original aim of 4.4 million but up from the previous estimate of 1.9 million.

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