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‘Algarve virus numbers are extraordinary’, says district civil protection boss

107virus numbersThis week the regional conference on the epidemiological situation in the Algarve described the outlook for the region as “controlled”. Within the past 24 hours, just 10 new people were reported as having positive COVID-19 tests, and the number of recoveries also increased, with three new recorded patients overcoming the virus.

“The numbers we have are extraordinary. In recent times we have tripled the population in the Algarve from tourists and we can be satisfied with what is the epidemiological evolution to date, in the region”, said António Miguel Pina, chairman of the District Civil Protection Commission.

Ana Cristina Guerreiro, regional health delegate, stated: “At the moment, we have 264 active cases, eight inpatients and none in the Intensive Care Unit. Of 1054 confirmed cases, 790 recovered. We keep the number of deaths at 19”.

As for individuals under active surveillance, the figure is now at 458. However, “it is natural in recent weeks to have gone up, since the number of daily cases has also been slightly higher than what they were 15 days ago or a month ago”, clarified the delegate.

Regarding the number of outbreaks, “there are no large active ones, they vary between 13 and 15, and are through “family and/or work-related transmission “. The number of imported cases, as in people who contracted the disease abroad and only when they arrived in the Algarve tested positive, is now at 45. According to the health official, these are people “of various nationalities and also Portuguese, and correspond to 17 percent of the total of active cases”, said Ana Cristina Guerreiro.

Regarding this number, the delegate was clear: “it has no meaning. Thousands of people have already come and we have just 45 imported cases, at the moment. The numbers are positive and few would believe that when we opened the doors we would keep numbers practically the same as those we had. These values ??reveal that health professionals, municipalities, Civil Protection and businesses have prepared a safe destination, where people are welcome”.

According to Guerreiro, “the epidemiological situation in the Algarve has managed to remain stabilized, even with the number of visitors and people currently in the region, hovering around one and a half million”.

For Josélia Gonçalves, member of the board of directors of the Regional Health Administration (ARS) of the Algarve, it is a scenario “that gives us confidence. With regard to the ARS, we continue to strengthen our response capacity and today 17 more public health work contracts will be signed, but also to strengthen primary health care”. In a similar vein, José Apolinário, secretary of state and COVID-19 coordinator for the Algarve, highlighted “the great commitment and work of the local businessmen, in particular the concessionaires of all the structures connected to the beach tourism”.

“At the beginning of the summer there was a big doubt about how it would run, but now we can say that there was a huge involvement and articulation between everyone. This is good for the region and only reinforces that it is safe, open to the world and to everyone who wants to visit us. We are committed to making it a long summer until September and October, with great events” he added.

Asked also about the lack of resources of the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), which caused the crowding of hundreds of passengers at Faro Airport this week, Apolinário clarified: “I am aware of this situation and contacted the person in charge of the SEF and the director of the Faro airport, and there will be an immediate reinforcement of human resources. It was a punctual situation and in the next two or three days it will be resolved. That is what we are working for”.