Germany dispatches doctors, nurses and medical equipment to COVID-pounded Portugal
LISBON (PORTUGAL) -A German military aeroplane carrying 20 doctors, nurses, ventilators and hospital beds arrived in Portugal on Wednesday. The nation is witnessing a severe surge in the number of coronavirus cases prompting several European nations to offer help.
The medical team will take care of a new unit comprising eight ICU beds in a private hospital in Lisbon. The Hospital da Luz was equipped but it lacked the staff to operate it, said Health Minister Marta Temido.
“Eight beds may not sound like much, but it is a lot for a health system under significant pressure,” Temido said.”The help Germany extended is of great use for a health system facing the challenges we are – highly specialised health professionals.”
After arriving at the military base in northern Lisbon, the team comprising eight doctors and 18 nurses left the facility by bus. The cargo includes 150 hospital beds and 50 ventilators.
“This is a vivid sign of European solidarity and a symbol of hope,” German ambassador Martin Ney told reporters at the military base.
Austria has offered to treat 10 to 15 COVID-19 intensive care patients, said its ambassador Robert Zischg.
He said the health ministers of both nations are in regular contact and it is up to Portugal to decide whether to accept the offer.
Across the nation, hospitals are on the verge of collapse and ambulances queue for hours as there is an acute shortage of beds while some health centres are struggling to find enough refrigerated space to preserve the bodies of the deceased.
In spite of the fact that daily new infections and fatalities linked to COVID are was on the wane on Tuesday compared to levels of the previous week, doctors and nurses are over-stretched.
The regional government of the island of Madeira, which is an autonomous region of Portugal, said that it had taken three COVID patients in intensive care last Friday and will take in three more.