A woman wearing a face mask is seen in Carcavelos near Lisbon, Portugal, on Feb. 11, 2021. Portugal's parliament on Thursday approved the renewal of the state of emergency in the country through March 1, allowing the government to keep all lockdown and anti-COVID-19 measures in place until March 1. (Photo by Pedro Fiuza/Xinhua)
LISBON, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Portugal's parliament on Thursday approved the renewal of the state of emergency in the country through March 1, allowing the government to keep all lockdown and anti-COVID-19 measures in place until March 1.
"It was a difficult two weeks, but it ended better than it started. It started with numbers of the worst in the world and very high pressure on health structures," said President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.
The president said the country needs to "improve the screening of contaminated people with more tests and more staff for the challenge of vaccination," adding that the Portuguese people need to "get out of spring without another summer and autumn threatened in life, economy, health, and society."
"There are delays in the production and supply of vaccines in Europe and Portugal, and that only from April onwards will we vaccinate more and more quickly to meet the goal set for September," he added.
Portugal recorded 167 deaths related to COVID-19 and 3,480 confirmed coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, bringing its total number of deaths to 14,885 and the total number of confirmed cases to 778,369.
As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in Portugal and some other countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.
Meanwhile, 242 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 63 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Tuesday.