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Greece latest to renew virus lockdown, England may follow

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared a partial coronavirus lockdown in a televised address Saturday.

In this file photo taken on 26 March 2020, a researcher works on the development of a vaccine against the new coronavirus COVID-19, in Belo Horizonte, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Picture: AFP

ATHENS - Greece became the latest country to announce a partial lockdown Saturday to combat soaring coronavirus infections, and news reports suggested England may soon follow as other countries faced growing protests over restrictions.

Portugal is also considering tighter restrictions as the infections hit record numbers there, while Slovakia launched an ambitious programme to test its entire population.

The novel coronavirus has killed at least 1,189,892 people since emerging in China last December, according to a tally from official sources compiled by AFP Saturday. At least 45,650,850 cases have been registered.

Based on the latest 24-hour reports from Friday, the countries with the most new deaths were the United States with 919, followed by India with 551 and France with 545.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis declared a partial coronavirus lockdown in a televised address Saturday. "We must act now, before intensive care units buckle under the strain of lives in danger," he said.

"The virus is attacking in waves, and we need to quickly adapt." The new lockdown will close restaurants and other leisure activities in Athens and other major cities from Tuesday.

The rest of the country will have to abide by an overnight curfew in addition to the compulsory use of masks even outdoors, Mitsotakis said.