Portugal gives migrants full citizenship rights to avail COVId-19 treatment

The move will mean that they are in a ‘situation of regular permanence’ until June 30


EU nation Portugal has temporarily given all migrants and asylum seekers full citizenship rights, granting them full access to the country's healthcare as the outbreak of the novel coronavirus escalates in the country. The move was announced on Friday.

The country, in light of the COVID-19, declared a state of emergency on March 18 for 15 days. The Portugal Council of Ministers said the move will “unequivocally guarantee the rights of all the foreign citizens” with applications pending with Portuguese immigration, meaning they are “in a situation of regular permanence in National Territory,” until June 30.

Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa praised the behaviour of the Portuguese citizens, “who have been exemplary in imposing a self-quarantine,” reflecting “a country that has lived through everything”.

De Sousa called the COVID-19 pandemic “a true war,” which would bring true challenges to the country's “way of life and economy”. 

According to figures from the John Hopkins University, Portugal has 6,408 cases of coronavirus, with 140 deaths and 43 recovered.

Crumbling tourism sector

Francisco Calheiros, president of the Confederation of Tourism of Portugal said, due to the COVID-19 impact, “more than 90 per cent of companies” in the sector will have “zero sales” in April and May. The government measures to combat the effect of the pandemic for the tourism sector, according to Calheiros, have a problem as the credit lines—including a €900 million earmarked for tourism in general and hotels, €600 million for restaurants and €200 million for travel agencies and tour companies—have not yet reached the banks.

Platform to repair broken ventilators

On Monday, Portugal launched an online platform Vent2Life, where Portuguese hospitals can create free accounts and report malfunctioning equipment. The platform will then connect the hospital to a skilled technician, who will help them fix the equipment. The mastermind behind the initiative, Joao Nascimento said he hopes that broken ventilators will be fixed before April 14. 

📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines