Portugal poised to extend lockdown as COVID-19 cases fall

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Portugal’s COVID-19 infection rate has dropped sharply after a lockdown aimed at addressing a devastating January pandemic surge. But health experts say it is still recording the most daily deaths in the world by size of population. Portugal hit a peak of cases on Jan. 29, with a 14-day average of almost 1,700 cases per 100,000 habitants. Amid a lockdown, that rate has fallen to around 980 per 100,000 — a marked improvement but still one of the European Union’s highest rates. Portugal’s president, prime minister and other senior officials held a televised meeting with health experts to consider whether a lockdown introduced in mid-January should be extended beyond this weekend.