LISBON, Portugal — Portugal has started inoculating the country’s about 15,000 firefighters against COVID-19.
Portuguese firefighters commonly operate ambulances, and they will be vaccinated over a two-week period starting Thursday.
Meanwhile, the health ministry says antigen tests will be more widely used at schools, factories and other places where people gather as part of a new strategy to contain the pandemic.
Parliament is expected later Thursday to extend Portugal’s state of emergency decree, which allows the government to impose the current lockdown, through March 1.
The seven-day average of daily deaths in Portugal is the highest in the world, at 2.05 per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University. But the seven-day average of daily new cases has fallen from a peak of 122.37 new cases per 100,000 people on Jan. 27 to 47.56 per 100,000.