The Portuguese community in Macau has already collected MOP105,000 (US$13,146) in less than 48 hours to buy medical supplies for Portugal that can assist in containing the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
The amount was advanced to Lusa by Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU) President, Carlos Álvares.
The money raised, in such a short space of time, “is encouraging”, said the president of Casa de Portugal in Macau, Amélia António, one of the entities part of the solidarity movement that proposes to collect funds to purchase protective equipment and Covid-19 tests to be donated to health professionals in Portugal.
The urgent fundraising was announced on Tuesday night and will run until April 5.
The movement brings together almost two dozen entities and personalities and, in about 12 days, wants to support Portugal “in the war effort” to face of the outbreak of the new coronavirus, establishing as a priority the acquisition of equipment that protects all those on the front line and the national case detection capacity, its members explained to Lusa.
The entities created an account at BNU in Macau, under the number 9016556516, under the name COVID19 – Portugal Conta Solidariedade.
Amélia António explained that, based on a list from the Portuguese Ministry of Health, priority objectives were defined, always with one premise: to prevent the smallest number of people from dying and to reduce the total number of infected people.
The president of Santa da Casa da Misericórdia, António José de Freitas, said that this is a contribution to “a war effort” that is being waged in Portugal and stressed that there is not much time left, especially because the solidarity account will be only active until April 5.
The advisor of the Portuguese communities in Macau, Rita Santos, underlined the importance of being able to mobilize the Portuguese community, without forgetting the challenge that will represent the acquisition of the material in China, as well as the logistics that implies sending the material to national soil.
The president of the Macau Portuguese Language Doctors Association stressed the importance of sending equipment capable of ensuring the protection of all health professionals who are at the forefront of combating the spread and treatment of Covid-19.
“Without doctors and nurses we can’t treat sick people!”, stressed José Manuel Esteves.
The solidarity movement has the institutional support of the Consulate General of Portugal in Macau and Hong Kong, Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade of Portugal (AICEP) and BNU.
Portugal registered 43 deaths and 2,995 confirmed infections, according to the balance made Wednesday by the Directorate-General for Health, which identified 10 more deaths and 633 new cases when compared to Tuesday.
Of those infected, 276 are hospitalized, 61 of whom are in intensive care units, and 22 patients have already recovered.
The first confirmed cases in Portugal were registered on March 2nd and have been in a state of emergency since 00:00 on March 19th and until 23:59 on April 2nd.
The new coronavirus, responsible for the covid-19 pandemic, has already infected nearly 450,000 people worldwide, of whom more than 20,000 have died.
Since first appearing in China in December, the outbreak spread worldwide, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic situation.