Portugal sees highest daily increase in coronavirus cases since May

FILE PHOTO: Tourists wearing protective masks walk at Comercio Square, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in downtown Lisbon, Portugal September 1, 2020. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante

LISBON (Reuters) - Portugal reported 486 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, its biggest daily increase since the week its lockdown was lifted in May.

The increase brought the cumulative total to 59,943, the health authority DGS said.

Portugal, with 10 million people, has reported just 1,838 deaths so far, a far lower rate per capita than in many European countries including neighbouring Spain. It initially won praise for its quick response to the pandemic, but a wave of localised outbreaks in Lisbon has worried authorities and forced them to re-impose some restrictions.

The majority of the new coronavirus cases registered on Saturday were in and around Lisbon and across the northern region, where the country’s second biggest city Porto is located.

Stricter measures to curb the coronavirus outbreak will be introduced across Portugal from mid-September as students return to schools and many workers go back to the office, although details have yet to be announced.

Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Peter Graff