Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has awarded the Portuguese National Health Service (SNS) membership of the highest honorary order for its staff’s demonstration of “selflessness and heroism” – in particular in particular in performing the “mission” that was the fight against the pandemic.
Minister of health, Marta Temido, received the insignia on behalf of the SNS, last night (Wednesday).
Explains Lusa, the SNS was thus made an Honorary Member of the former Military Order of the Tower and Sword of Valor, Loyalty and Merit on the day that marked the second anniversary of the first SARS-CoV-2 infection recorded in Portugal.
President Marcelo said the SNS was “exemplary in the service of Portugal” and that he had decided to award it membership of the highest Honorific Order for its “most illustrious” performance in “saving life and health” during the pandemic.
The award “contemplates acts of selflessness and heroism and the National Health Service and its professionals have been selfless and heroic in fulfilling their mission,” he said.
The award was given before a dinner with a number of epidemiologists who, the president crediting with helping “chart the path since March 2022″. The dinner also attended by the speaker of parliament. Prime minister, António Costa, was not present for “personal” reasons.
This is the second time this special military order has been given to a collective person from civil society. The first was to the Loyal Senate of Macau, in 1999, the year in which that territory was handed back to China.