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Record virus deaths, cases on eve of Portugal presidential vote

Portugal suffered record daily numbers of coronavirus deaths and new infections Saturday, official figures showed, the day before the country is set to vote in a presidential election.

The total Covid-19 toll topped 10,000 deaths after a further 274 fatalities in 24 hours, the national health authority said.

Meanwhile at 15,333, the number of new cases identified in the country of 10 million people was the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.

The latest figures come on top of 80,000 new infections in the past week, making Portugal the country with the fastest-growing outbreak in proportion to its population, according to a global AFP tally from official figures.

Sunday’s presidential vote comes 10 days after Portugal entered a second national lockdown.

Incumbent Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is predicted to win re-election in the first round, but observers fear abstentions could be as high as 70 percent given voters’ health concerns.