March 18, 2020 / 4:02 PM / 23 days ago

Portugal's president asks parliament to authorise state of emergency due to coronavirus-PM

LISBON, March 18 (Reuters) - Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Wednesday that President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa asked parliament to authorise a state of emergency to contain the growing coronavirus outbreak, and that the government agreed with the measure.

Parliament is expected to swiftly confirm the measure, which can include curbs on free movement of people and closures of businesses, in what would be the first time the country has done so on a nationwide scale in 46 years of democratic history.

Portugal has 642 confirmed cases of the virus so far, with two reported deaths. (Reporting by Victoria Waldersee, Sergio Goncalves, editing by Andrei Khalip)

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