With the coronavirus lockdown in place in most parts of the world, people are confined inside their homes and are not allowed to go out for non-essential purposes. Elderly people living in retirement homes have not met their family members for weeks now due to strict social distancing rules amid pandemic. However, a care home in Portugal took a unique approach to let relatives of its residents meet their loved ones by hiring a crane service.
According to reports, the incident took place in the coastal town of Figueira da Foz, midway between Lisbon and Porto, where residents of the Santo Antonio retirement home were allowed to meet with their family members from a crane parked at the first-floor level. The town has over 60,000 inhabitants and it has reportedly recorded just 30 confirmed coronavirus cases so far.
Portugal went into a state of alert on March 12, when there were just 78 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and zero deaths. The state of emergency in Portugal was announced on March 18 when it had 642 confirmed cases and two deaths. Cut to May 10, Portugal has recorded over 27,000 coronavirus cases and 1,126 deaths and has more than 23,700 active infections. However, the mortality rate in the European country is much lower than some of its fellow nations in the bloc, such as Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
The lockdown in Portugal was not as strict as in other European countries and nations across the globe. Portuguese could still go out for brief periods and were allowed to pick up takeaway foods, buy groceries, and go to bakery and farmers' markets. Only non-essential businesses, shops, beaches were closed and outdoor dining was prohibited. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa has announced the gradual reopening of the economy on May 3 with a warning that the pandemic is still not over and urged people to stay at home if they can.