With the country still waiting to hear the terms of Portugal’s new State of Emergency, a dispatch published in government newspaper Diário da República this morning shows the Armed Forces have already been drafted in to “contribute human resources and material”.
The document signed by defence minister João Gomes Cravinho was dated October 28, at which point, explain reports, “it started producing effects”.
The essence confirms the Armed Forces’ “readiness, activation and collaboration in respect of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2”.
Says the text: “The various branches of the Armed Forces will contribute with human and material resources that prove necessary to support competent entities in the context of this public health emergency”.
Also ‘on the front line’ is the director of Military Health who will lend support from the Armed Forces Hospital and associated health units, including the ‘Military Laboratory of Chemical and Pharmaceutical products’, explains Diário de Notícias.
The “new determination” (meaning this latest national mission) will remain in force “as long as the current situations of alert, contingency and calamity justify…” (in other words, there is no need for a State of Emergency now to bring the Armed Forces into the combat of Covid-19).
As reports explain, in parliament on Monday Gomes Cravinho reported that Portugal’s Armed Forces have already gone €30 million over-budget this year with ‘expenses related to the pandemic’.
With almost two months of the year still left to go, he warned the over-spending was just likely to increase.