NAVY CHIEF Takes Over Portugal’s Vaccine Task Force after Francisco Ramos resigns
Vice-admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo has been appointed as the new Portuguese national task force coordinator, after the resignation of his predecessor, Francisco Ramos, amid the scandal of unauthorised vaccinations allegedly having taken place.
Gouveia e Melo told reporters, “We will tighten up the rules. We are ‘silent service’. We will try, with our military training but with the ministry of health, to respond in the best way to the wishes of all the Portuguese”.
Público commented that the vice-admiral was already a part of the task-force set-up and will thus be able to assume functions immediately. He had previously been responsible for the planning and logistical part of the vaccine programme, leading the military team that is giving support at SNS hospitals in Lisbon.
President Marcelo is reportedly delighted at the appointment, saying that he believes in greater involvement of the Armed Forces in the task force, while also removing from power any political element within the taskforce.
Some believe that Gouveia e Melo has his work cut out, political commentator Bernardo Ferrão talking on SIC television news cited a study by Público that has concluded that with the speed vaccines are being administered in Portugal, it will take until August 10, 2024, to inoculate the required 70% of the adult population to attain ‘group immunity’.
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