Portugal authorises states to hire foreign nurses

Lisbon, Feb 19 (IANS) The Portuguese government approved on Thursday a program to hire foreign nurses to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

Mariana Vieira da Silva, the Portuguese minister of state and the presidency, said in a press conference that, considering special public interest, the Council of Ministers has authorised the hiring of foreign nurses in the decree that regulates the state of emergency, the Xinhua news reported.

According to the government, it is “absolutely crucial” to allow nurses from outside the country to work due to the “significant increase in the number of hospitalized patients as a result of the pandemic.”

Mariana Vieira da Silva told reporters that the decision to hire foreign nurses “was taken because it was considered urgent and necessary.” It is “an exceptional decision.”

The minister also said that it is up to the state to “define all possible ways” to help reinforce the national health service “at this difficult time.”

Portugal recorded 105 deaths related to Covid-19 in the last 24 hours, in addition to a further 1,944 new cases of infection with the novel coronavirus. As of Thursday, the coronavirus has led to a total of 15,754 deaths and 792,829 infections in Portugal since the beginning of the pandemic.

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