Portugal Considers Asking Europe for Covid Help as Rates Surge

Portugal asks Europe for coronavirus help

Portugal in Covid crisis: Health Minister considers calling in help from other European countries. Image: Wikipedia

PORTUGAL’S health minister has announced the government is considering asking other European countries for help dealing with the country’s growing number of hospital patients.

After Portugal last week recorded its worst ever daily death rates, Minister Marta Temido told press the country has not ruled out asking Europe for coronavirus help, saying, “the Portuguese Government is activating all the mechanisms available, mainly from our international options, to ensure that it gives the best assistance.”

Temido added that while it was not unusual for countries whose own health systems were overloaded to send patients to other EU countries for treatment, Portugal’s remote geographic position and the existing pressure on hospitals in other countries meant this may not be an option.

Instead, the minister said her government is considering asking the European Union to send medical workers from other countries to Portugal to help deal with the crisis.

The minister explained: “We are at one end of the peninsula and, therefore, with greater geographical difficulties. But in any case, there are mechanisms and ways to obtain help and to adjust forms of collaboration, and of course we are considering them.”

The politician gave signs that her government might seek to bring in health workers from abroad, saying, “we have beds available… what we’re struggling with is finding staff.”

However, she recognised that Portugal was not alone in its crisis, saying, “the whole European situation is worrying.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic Portugal has registered 10,721 deaths and 643,113 among its population of around 10 million.

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