The Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, announced today that his country will receive Portuguese patients in intensive care by covid-19, as a sign of “European solidarity”, says the agency EFE.
” The covid-19 pandemic represents enormous challenges for all European countries. It is a requirement of European solidarity to help quickly and without bureaucracy to save lives,” wrote the conservative government official on his Twitter account.
The move was taken after Kurz offered Austria’s help in a telephone conversation with Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa.
Kurz did not say how many patients the Austrian intensive care unit would receive and the Apa news agency said the data would be released by Portuguese health authorities.
Asked by the Lusa agency about this support, the Ministry of Health did not confirm, stating only that “all the hypotheses are being considered in order to continue to ensure health care to the Portuguese”.
“In an external support framework, the mechanisms of European cooperation are obviously a possibility, depending on the evolution that will occur”, he mentions in a written response to Lusa.
The Austrian head of government recalled that his country had already received patients from Italy, France and Montenegro to help them during the pandemic peaks.
The third wave placed Portugal at the limit of its hospital capacities and this Saturday 293 deaths were registered.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, more than 12,000 deaths have been recorded in Portugal, 5,000 of them in January alone.
Austria, for its part, has been in its third partial confinement since December 26, with non-essential trade closed and restrictions on travel.
The measure allowed the reduction of contagions to around 1,500 daily. In a country of 8.9 million inhabitants, the cumulative incidence of seven days is 107 positive cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which allowed the release of many hospital beds.
Deaths since the start of the pandemic exceed 7,600.
The covid-19 pandemic caused at least 2,206,873 deaths resulting from more than 102 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.
In Portugal, 12,179 people died from 711,081 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.