Portimão mother and daughter are Algarve’s first confirmed Covid-19 cases
A 16-year-old teenager, a student at the Manuel Teixeira Gomes Secondary School, in Portimão, is the first confirmed case of Covid-19 in the Algarve. The girl’s mother, a teacher at a different school, has also come down with the virus, broadcaster TVI revealed, citing the mayor Isilda Gomes. The number of cases of the new coronavirus in Portugal thus rises to 31, with no recorded deaths.
The mother’s workplace, EB 2,3 José Buisel School, in Portimão, will be closed to prevent the spread of the illness, as will the Manuel Teixeira Gomes Secondary School, where the 16 year old girl studies. In total, there are around 1800 students without classes in Portimão.
Following their diagnoses, both mother and daughter were transported and hospitalized at Hospital D. Estefânia, in Lisbon. The girl’s two sisters are in isolation, at home, without symptoms, as well as other family members.
Yesterday, Portuguese public health management officials released a statement explaining the closure of the secondary school, advising “the entire educational community that may have had contact with the student to pay particular attention to the appearance of signs and symptoms of acute respiratory infection, such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing. If any of these signs or symptoms arise, you should call SNS24 (808 24 24 24)”.
According to the school, after returning from vacation in Italy with her family, the student, still without symptoms, contacted Linha Saúde 24, “which gave her instructions to monitor her clinical situation and comply with some social and hygiene rules, but nothing extreme”.
In this way, she returned to school on the 27th of February and “she was supervised daily by the SNS24 team”. However, she ended up falling ill, as did as her mother. The father and two sisters were also on vacation in Italy.
Yesterday evening, after a meeting, the public health delegate from Portimão Council appealed to people who were in contact with the student infected with Covid-19 to adopt “social distance” measures to prevent the virus from spreading. This includes voluntary isolation.
“At least until March 20th, the entire school community must monitor any symptoms, adopting hygiene and social distance behaviours,” said the health delegate.
Those who had “close contact” with the student “will receive a direct indication from the services of Linha SNS24”, added Maria Filomena Agostinho, the delegate.
Furthermore, in the capital the offices of 71-year-old president Marcelo said on Sunday that he has cancelled all public activities and will stay at home amid the coronavirus outbreak.
President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa recently received a group of students from a school which has since been closed following the detection of a student with COVID-19.
His office said that the president had no symptoms. It added that the infected student wasn’t included in the group that visited the presidential palace. His office said that he decided to self-isolate “to provide an example of taking preventive measures while continuing to work at home.”
The president’s office specified that although he took photos with the group of students, he did not greet them individually.