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Covid-19. Germany deploys medical task force to Portugal

(B2) Berlin has decided to respond to the call for help from Lisbon which is facing a surge in the Coronavirus epidemic. A first flight with personnel and equipment leaves tomorrow

A Covid-19 sample (Credit: Bundeswehr / P. Englowski)

A German Air Force Airbus A400M is due to take off on Wednesday (03.02) from Wunstorf (military) airport. Direction: Lisbon. On board, 26 people from the medical service of the German armed forces: eight doctors, nurses and a hygiene team from the Bundeswehr, as well as medical equipment, as our colleague Thomas Wiegold from Augergeradeaus.

A gesture of solidarity

40 mobile respirators and ten fixed respirators, 150 infusion devices and 150 hospital beds will also be made available to Portugal, specifies the Bundeswehr. The Inspector General of the Medical Service, Chief of Staff Ulrich Baumgärtner, is on the trip. " Even in difficult times, it is important that we stick together “said German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer on Twitter.

A country hit by the outbreak of the epidemic

This first shipment responds to Lisbon's call for help. The country which had been rather spared during the first wave has suffered a surge in the epidemic since the beginning of January. 6694 people are hospitalized, including 858 in intensive care. And some days, there are 300 deaths, as reported by the Lusa agency. Of the 12.482 deaths associated with covid-19 since the start of the epidemic (in March 2020), more than 3000 deaths were observed in the last two weeks of January 2021 (out of a population of ten million inhabitants).

Restrained German generosity

The Portuguese Minister of Health, Marta Temido, had requested the deployment of a field hospital, specifies our colleague. German refusal: this would require too many staff ". What has been agreed is rather support “ in personnel and equipment as Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer put it. confirmed during an interview with his Portuguese counterpart João Cravinho. The medical team will be deployed in a hospital in Lisbon, and the hygiene specialists in other hospitals. Expected duration of the mission: three weeks.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).