COVID-19: Albufeira receives warning as only place with “community transmission” in the Algarve
Since the beginning of the epicentre, Albufeira has been one of the hubs of COVID-19 spread in the region. So far it is the only municipality in the Algarve where the transmission of the new virus may be circulating in the community, meaning that authorities are unable to identify the transmission chains.
At a weekly press conference that took place at the end of last week at the district command post for Civil Protection in Loulé, Ana Cristina Guerreiro, regional health delegate, clarified that Albufeira is the municipality with the most identified cases of COVID-19 and admitted that the authorities are yet to ascertain the precise reasoning behind this.
“For the past two weeks we have thought that this municipality is the one where the transmission of the virus is circulating in the community. While in the other counties we always find a story, an epidemiological link. In Albufeira we already have enough cases where we could not find that connection,” said Ana Cristina Guerreiro.
According to the official, and because it is a relatively small municipality, but with a large population density, it is necessary that the population take the measures of social distancing very seriously, as they are “fundamental to be able to contain the situation.”
Questioned by journalists, Ana Cristina Guerreiro also admitted that the local health authorities even considered creating a sanitary blockade at key access points to Albufeira, but concluded that such a “drastic measure” would not be necessary, for now.
“In recent days, the new cases in Albufeira have grown steadily and have not skyrocketed. Therefore, the measures have to be matched as the scenario evolves” she says.
Paulo Morgado, president of the Regional Health Administration (ARS) of the Algarve, said that this past week has brought some stability, since the average increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the region was less than five percent. The authorities admit that this scenario may change from one day to the next, but so far, the services dedicated to COVID-19 in the Health Centres of the Algarve have not been pushed to their limits.
“We maintain tranquillity in relation to our region”, underlined Ana Cristina Guerreiro, since the number of daily cases does not exceed ten in terms of epidemiological progression.