The Algarve is in a “comfortable” situation in the fight against COVID-19, with a rate of recoveries higher than the national average, said today the regional health delegate, at a time when the region is gearing up to possibly reopen the economy.
“We have 320 accumulated cases, a very comfortable situation, as it has been in our region. We have 11 deaths, with none in the last few days. There are 21 people hospitalized, four of them in need of intensive care”, Ana Cristina Guerreiro told journalists.
In the weekly press conference of the District Civil Protection Commission to take stock of the fight against the pandemic in the region, the official highlighted the “80 recovered cases”, as well as underlining the “active surveillance of 345 people and the 9,685 cases with negative results”.
At the Boliqueime nursing home where 21 positive users were detected in the beginning of April, in the municipality of Loulé, new tests were carried out, revealing “12 positive residents – nine in the home and three hospitalized”, with “11 positive employees” still, she noted.
In the Algarve health authorities’ big plan for screening homes for the elderly and similar institutions in the region, 4,062 tests have been carried out on users and employees of 48 establishments so far, which corresponds to about 67% of the total individuals living/working in care homes.
The official indicated that elderly home tests “have all yielded negative results” with the occasional exception of two cases: “a patient admitted to the hospital in Faro, who had no impact on the home, and an employee who was removed from the workplace also without consequences”.
Furthermore Ms. Guerreiro classified the spread of COVID-19 in migrant communities in the region as “controlled”, reporting that in Tavira there is “a larger group of 20 positives” that includes “two immigrants living in Silves and Albufeira”.
In Albufeira, there is “a positive citizen staying in a hotel and eight migrants in an apartment”, all in “prophylactic isolation and supervised by the local health unit”. In Armação de Pêra, in the municipality of Silves, the official informed that one of the suspected cases “has already obtained two negative tests, ceasing to be isolated and under surveillance”. Authorities are also keeping an active watch on a group with “five positive people housed in their own home.”
The president of the Regional Health Administration (ARS) of the Algarve revealed, in turn, the existence of “20 health professionals having tested positive and four already recovered”. Paulo Morgado also indicated that the preparation for the coming recovering period “must be gradual and with all care” and that the National Health Service (SNS) in the Algarve is “following the 50 patients who were discharged early, in order to make sure their situation is controlled”.
“The future will not be the same as the past, either in society or in health services,” he said. In relation to the recovery period, the entities refer that the reopening of the economy as being “will slow and carefully monitored, in order to understand the virus evolution”, said, on the occasion, the president of the District Civil Protection Commission, António Pina.
According to Pina, the president of the Algarve Intermunicipal Community (AMAL), the opening of land and air borders “will be done gradually”. The region “will try to create rules and good practices” in public spaces, beaches, restaurants and hotels and “maintain the notion that the Algarve is safe not only in public security but also in relation to COVID-19”, he noted.
“We are going to move to a new phase and allow the economy to recover, but just as in the first, there is attention to safeguard the health of the Algarve, as well as to send the message that it is safe to come and spend holidays in the Algarve, albeit under certain conditions”, he defended. Pina concluded by stating that “if something starts to go less well, we can always go back” from easing out of lockdown.