Navy presence in Madeira compromised
On the mainland, Diário de Notícias reports that the percentage of active soldiers who have expressed “vaccine denial” is well above the national average and in the case of the Navy (Marinha de Guerra Portuguesa or as Armada Portuguesa) it exceeds it by a factor of five.
In the Navy there are about 800 sailors (10% of the total), in the Army 756 soldiers (6%) who did not want to be vaccinated. The Air Force refuses to release COVID -19 vaccination data.
The percentages assumed by the two branches significantly exceed the estimate of refusal of vaccination in civil society, in the order of two per cent.
Several military sources assured the DN that “there are deniers in the Armed Forces” and that they are calling into question operations, giving as an example the recent outbreaks in Navy ships, but this assertion is denied by military commanders, and the military associations themselves have doubts.
Last week, the Navy announced a new outbreak of COVID-19 on the frigate Corte Re l, part of NATO’s No. 1 Permanent Naval Force, docked in Karlskrona, Sweden. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces (EMGFA) the situation “had no impact on the continuity of the mission”, but those infected ( until this Monday 35 of the 182 that make up the garrison) are sleeping outdoors in the hangar of the ship, travelling from Sweden to Norway, with temperatures several degrees below zero, according to a source who is following the case. The DN asked the EMGFA for an explanation but got no response.
Navy presence in Madeira compromised
It is the second outbreak (at least that has come to light) suffered by the Navy in the space of three months. In August, it was on the NRP Douro, deployed in Madeira, that forced the entire crew to abandon the ship and stay confined to a hotel in Funchal, including the ship’s commander, 1st Lieutenant Diana Azevedo. In this case, the mission, which ended this week , to inspect fishing activities and support Civil Protection in search and rescue missions, was actually compromised and the NRP Sines had to be sent from Portimão to reinforce the naval device in the Maritime Zone of Madeira.
In both cases, suspicion was raised in the media about whether all military personnel on board would be vaccinated – which would limit the spread of the infection and its symptoms – but neither the EMGFA nor the Navy corroborates this.
In the NRP Douro there was a ship’s nurse, who was later vaccinated, but the Regional Health Delegate of Funchal, Maurício Melim, refused to confirm or deny this information taken for granted in the military means of that autonomous region.
Navy officials, who requested anonymity, told the DN that they were aware of other outbreaks in vessels where deniers were on board and that there are commanders who have referred this fact to the health authorities.
Last November 7, the DN asked the EMGFA for concrete data on the number of soldiers who were not vaccinated, the reasons given, whether they were deniers, whether they were subject to restrictions, whether they were engaged in operational missions, whether they were not military personnel. vaccinated at the NRP Douro and at Corte Real, the number of outbreaks recorded and what measures would be taken, the responsibility of EMGFA in the Vaccination Plan in the Armed Forces and whether it would propose any measures in relation to the alleged deniers. “In relation to this matter, contact the Navy”, replied the spokesman for the Chief of Staff, Admiral Silva Ribeiro.
Despite the DN’s insistence that it answer, at least, the questions related to its competencies in the matter, there was no reaction by the time this edition of DN went to press.
Thanks to PeterA for the link
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