German Army Medics Arrive in Portugal to Fight Pandemic

first_img“It might not seem like much,” Temido said of the eight ICU beds, “but let me tell you it’s a lot, especially for a health system that’s under heavy pressure and where the coming days will be critical.” Almost 7,000 people are currently in hospital with the virus, with almost 900 in intensive care. Hospital wards and ICUs were on average at 94% of capacity at the start of this week, according to Portuguese health officials. The medics are being given temporary credentials to work in Portugal, which provides liability insurance for any claims against them. They are exempt from the usual requirement for foreign doctors of being able to speak Portuguese. Almost 7,000 people are currently in hospitals with the virus, with almost 900 in intensive care. Portuguese Health Minister Marta Temido said they would be deployed at an intensive care unit at Lisbon’s Hospital da Luz with eight beds. The unit had not been used so far because of a lack of medical staff. The eight doctors and 18 nurses arrived at the Figo Maduro military airport in the Portuguese capital aboard a Luftwaffe transport plane. LISBON, Portugal (AP) — A German army medical team flew into Lisbon on Wednesday to help Portugal cope with a pandemic surge that has made it the world’s worst-hit country by size of population. The arrival of foreign help coincided with the launch of Stage Two of Portugal’s national vaccination plan. European Union countries helping each other in times of crisis is common. Germany has also provided help during the pandemic to Italy and France, among others. The unit being deployed would rotate outevery three weeks German army personnel disembark from a German air force airplane after it landed at Lisbon airport, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. The airplane is bringing 26 German army medics along with medical equipment to help out at Portuguese hospitals under stress from the recent increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. (AP Photo/Armando Franca) Though the growth of new cases has slowed in recent days, hospitals are still bracing for weeks of many new admissions because of a time-lag between diagnosis and possible need for hospitalization. Health services began Wednesday the process of inoculating some 900,000 people above 80 years of age, or above 50 with underlying health problems, over the next two months. Portuguese authorities have recently spent frantic weeks rushing to turn every available space into makeshift areas for COVID-19 beds. Prime Minister António Costa said that in the first phase during January more than 400,000 people were vaccinated, mainly residents and staff of elderly care homes, frontline health workers and security forces. He said the challenge of the third phase of the plan, when the rest of the population is due to be inoculated, depends on how quickly manufacturers can provide their vaccines. By BARRY HATTON Associated Press German ambassador Martin Ney said the unit being deployed would rotate out every three weeks. “This is a long-term effort,” he said. “We are now making a big leap forward,” Costa said of the second phase. Temido said the deployment addresses an acute problem in Portugal: a shortage of human resources in the public health system, which has been stretched to the limit after a January spike fueled by a fast-spreading COVID-19 variant first identified in England. All contents © copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Rashid Pelpuo: Don’t blame gov’t for IOC ban

first_imgA former minister of Youth and Sports has warned that the latest International Olympic Committee (IOC) ban imposed on the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) should not be blamed on the ruling NDC government.Hon. Rashid Pelpuo described as unfortunate the ban imposed on the GOC but was quick to state that it would be unjustifiable for the government to be held responsible for the fracas at the GOC.The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Thursday, January 13 2011, suspended the Ghanaian National Committee after the government failed to take agreed steps to ensure no political interference in the body.Ghana has thus become the first African country and the second in the world to be banned following Kuwait in 2010.Spokesperson of IOC, Sandine Ponge in an interview with Citi News said the suspension became necessary after the government of Ghana failed to find a long term solution to the fracas at the GOC.According to Sandine Ponge, ideal efforts had been on-going for the last eighteen months between the IOC and the government of Ghana but government exhibited lack of cooperation and failed to revive the sports legislation before the December 2010 deadline. There has been instability at the Ghana Olympic Committee since two individuals have carried themselves as Presidents for more than a year.Whilst Professor Francis Doodoo is recognised by government, the IOC on the other hand regards Benson Tonko Baba as the President of the GOC.A former deputy Minister of Youth and Sports under the erstwhile Kufuor administration, O.B Amoah told Citi News that the government should be held responsible for the suspension.Mr O.B Amoah described the ban as unfortunate adding that the government could have been more proactive to ensure that cool heads prevailed at the GOC.However, speaking on the Citi Eyewitness News on Thursday Hon. Rashid Pelpuo said it would be unjustifiable for the government to be blamed for the suspension. The Wa central MP explained that the GOC is an independent body and the government is not directly involved in the affairs of the GOC. He said the GOC should be blamed and held responsible for the unfortunate suspension.“I don’t think it would be justifiable to blame government, because the government does not directly get itself involve in GOC affairs. The GOC is an independent body; the body’s members are elective and not appointed by government so the operation of the GOC which is directly linked with the IOC is very private and not within government control. So if there is such a thing it must be blamed on the GOC and not government”.Per the suspension, Ghanaian athletes and officials are barred from the Olympic Games and Olympic meetings, and the Ghanaian committee will no longer receive any Olympic funding.If the lifting of the ban by the IOC delays, Ghana could be excluded from the London 2012 Olympics.Hon. Rashid Pelpuo however assured that pragmatic steps would be taken to ensure that the ban is lifted soon. Source: Citifmonlinelast_img read more

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