"In view of the technical work, it is estimated that a team of military health professionals with skills in intensive care will be arriving in Portugal on Wednesday, 3 February, as well as providing clinical material, (ventilators, pumps and infusion syringes)", says a joint statement from the Ministries of National Defense and Health.

The professionals will remain in Portugal "for a period of three weeks, with replacement scheduled every 21 days, until the end of March, if necessary", adds the Government, confirming that Portugal has accepted "the Government's proposal for collaboration" to reinforce the response to covid-19, "following several bilateral contacts".

Diplomatic sources told Lusa that the departure is scheduled for 11:00 am local time (10:00 am in Lisbon), with an estimated arrival at the military airport of Figo Maduro, Lisbon, for about three hours later.

The Portuguese government also stresses that, in the first wave of the pandemic, Germany made its support available to several European states.

"Countries such as Italy, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and the Czech Republic, countries with greater geographical proximity to Germany received German and European solidarity, which now also extends to Portugal", reads the statement.

Already the German Ministry of Defense, in a statement sent to Lusa, had said that Germany would send 26 health professionals, including eight doctors, and clinical material (40 mobile ventilators, 150 infusion pumps and 150 hospital beds).

“We support our European friends, also in the fight against the coronavirus. I agreed with my counterpart João Cravinho (Portuguese Minister of Defense) that the 'Bundeswehr' (German Armed Forces) will send personnel and medical supplies to Portugal. Solidarity strengthens Europe”, said Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer.