The Government has ruled out the return to the past in which the country stopped, according to the Minister of Health, Marta Temido. The almost door-to-door knowledge of the current epidemiological situation can lead health authorities to choose local confinements, as is the case, for example, in some neighbourhoods in the Spanish capital.
In March, the country closed with fear of the covid-19, bent to the unknown. “We were in a phase where, in some way, we could support, even from a social and psychological point of view, more restrictive measures”, recalled the Minister of Health, Marta Temido, discarding going back, to that time with closed doors and empty streets.
“We already realized that confinement is less effective than in the past,” added the minister, in an interview with RTP’s “Telejornal” on Monday night. “Today all countries are trying to move away from that line, regardless of whether there may be surgical measures locally”, such as those adopted in Spain.
The region of Madrid has decided, since Monday, to restrict freedom of movement affecting more than 850 thousand people, 13% of the total inhabitants, in areas of the city where there was a great increase in the contagions of covid-19. The affected population may leave the neighbourhood to go to work, to the doctor or to take their children to school, and the number of people who can meet is reduced from 10 to 6.
On the day that the Health Plan for the autumn-winter of 2020-21 was presented, the Minister of Health highlighted the pertinence of the epidemiological risk map, which appears in the document prepared by the DGS. “This is very important. In some regions of the country, we have already been able to say what the risk is almost door-to-door. This allows for more incisive and more effective action by public health, social security, security forces,” he explained. .
One more reason for the minister’s optimism. “We face this phase with confidence. We have more means, more human and technical resources, more organization and more knowledge,” said Marta Temida .
“We currently have 700 more ventilators than we had in March,” said the minister, also reporting the increase in testing capacity, defended as one of the important vectors of the Health Plan for the fall-winter of 2020-21. “In terms of laboratory capacity, we were doing about 3,000 tests a day in March and now we are doing 23,000 tests a day,” he said.
The NHS has 21 thousand hospital beds, seven thousand in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Region “Of the 500 beds that the Lisbon and Tagus Valley Region has kept – in quotation marks – in this phase to respond to the covid, 300 are currently occupied “, said the minister. “There are 300 of the 500 that are part of the seven thousand”, he stressed, referring that the advantage of the SNS “is to work in a network” and that if necessary, it can mobilize more beds, even from the private sector.
Still in this interview, Marta Temido acknowledged that the SNS 24 Health Line does not always answer the phone, and admitted that this is largely due to a problem with the telephone networks. “We are trying to resolve, to invest in technological modernization,” he said, stressing that “the strengthening of telephone lines and the service capacity” is being carried out.