The prime minister said this Sunday, in the traditional Christmas message to the Portuguese, that this is “the war is not over”, warning that “we cannot lose focus on an effort for national recovery”.
“Although employment has fully recovered and we have resumed robust growth, we cannot lose focus on a national recovery effort,” stated António Costa in a statement to the country.
As he was in the pre-election period, Costa said he had a duty to be “restrained”, which is why he chose the fight against the pandemic as the central theme of the speech, he explained. “I would have much more to say to you, but in this pre-election period the prime minister has a special duty to be contained”, he acknowledged.
Costa recalled that “there are millions of human beings around the world who still have not had access to the vaccine”. “And as long as that is the case, the virus will remain active and continue and the risk of developing into new variants will persist,” he recalled.
In the opinion of the prime minister, it is now essential to accelerate vaccination on a global scale and continue the reinforcement here in Portugal.”
“The pandemic has not only affected our health, it has had a brutal impact on our society”, highlighted the head of Government, recalling the effects it had on “educational processes for children”, “on the loneliness of the elderly”, in the cultural sector, in the activity of the companies, in the employment and in the income of the families.
“Surely we couldn’t always arrive on time nor did we heal all the wounds,” he acknowledged.
memories of last christmas
At a time when thousands of Portuguese are in isolation because they are infected with covid-19 or because they have had contacts at risk, in the face of an omicron variant that spreads quickly, the prime minister repeated that “the best gift we can to anyone of our family and friends is to protect your health.”
“I know very well that it’s not easy. A year ago I spent my Christmas Eve in solitude, in prophylactic isolation”, recalled António Costa, explaining that in 2020 he himself had to spend Consoada away from his wife, children and mom.
“In these nearly two years of pandemic, we have all learned that we can only protect ourselves if we protect others and it is this fraternal spirit that has reinforced our sense of community,” he emphasized.
Applauding “the extraordinary civility of the Portuguese”, Costa highlighted the success of the vaccination process in Portugal – “almost the entire population over 12 is vaccinated and 2.5 million people have already received the booster dose” – and praised the role of health professionals.
“After the tireless work of 2020 and the dramatic wave they had to face in January and February, health professionals are once again unsurpassed”, said the head of Government referring to the process of vaccination and testing, highlighting in particular the nurses.
“The intense experience of these two years in this command post only reinforced in me my pride in the Portuguese and my confidence in the SNS”, he concluded.
Costa also asked the Portuguese to “face the future with hope”.
Source: Jornal de Negócios by www.jornaldenegocios.pt.
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