COVID-19: Situation in the Algarve is ‘quite good’, but ‘it is more prudent not to lighten’ certain measures
The Algarve has a “quite good” epidemiological situation and “everything seems to be under control at the moment”, but Graça Freitas, Director-General of Health, considers that “it is more prudent not to lighten up” certain measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Questioned by local newspaper Sul Informação at a daily press conference dedicated to monitoring the pandemic, Graça Freitas said that “the relatively favourable epidemiological situation” in the Algarve “is a gain that cannot be lost”.
For this reason, “it is more prudent not to lighten measures” that have been essential in reducing the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing. The Algarve “has a relatively small number of cases, 15 deaths and an unaffected young population. There was not a lot of vulnerable population, like the elderly, to get sick, but I don’t think measures can be lightened more”.
The Director-General of Health adds that “those who visit the Algarve and those who live in the Algarve must continue to behave as they have so far to avoid new cases as much as possible, which may create a second wave that is less benign than this first”.
António Lacerda Sales, Secretary of State for Health, responding to a question from Sul Informação regarding a large influx of people from other regions of the country to the Algarve during the summer was not concerned about a possible increase in cases.
In a way it seems that tourism is going to be a double-edged over the coming months. Economically it is an essential step in ensuring the livelihoods of thousands of residents, however, the same influx of people who will act as customers to the region’s businesses might possibly bring with them an irresponsible party attitude, common on vacations for some, that will aggravate the spread of the virus.
“Civility and social awareness in the Algarve are the same as in the rest of the country. I believe that, even in the summer season, with a greater influx of people, there will be no major problems in relation to this matter”, said the government official.
This Monday, there were no new cases of COVID-19 in the Algarve, according to the DGS epidemiological bulletin.