Portugal is in a “terrible” phase of the coronavirus pandemic and can hope for only limited help from abroad, Prime Minister Antonio Costa said, as hospital staff warned they were being overwhelmed.
With a total of 668,951 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 11,305 deaths, including a record 293 dead on Wednesday, Portugal has the world’s highest seven-day average of new daily cases and deaths per million inhabitants.
“There is no point in feeding the illusion that we are not facing the worst moment,” he told TVI broadcaster overnight. The situation was not bad but terrible, he said, “and we’ll face this worst moment for a few more weeks, that is for sure.”
Some hospitals are running out of beds, others see dwindling oxygen supplies, and doctors and nurses are over-stretched.
Staff at the Cascais Hospital, near Lisbon, told Reuters news agency they were exhausted and sometimes struggled to stay motivated. “There is no end in sight,” one nurse said.