Algarve Situation Report Wednesday 28th July 2021

 

Covid-19: Pharmacies in the Algarve able to meet the demand for rapid tests

Newsroom, July 26, 2021 (Lusa) – Pharmacies in the Algarve have been able to respond to the increased demand for rapid tests to detect covid-19 due to rules on access to tourist accommodation and restaurants in the municipalities with higher risk, said industry officials.

“There is a lot of demand, both from nationals and foreigners, but there have never been any problems with the provision of rapid tests or self-tests of antigen for detection of SARS-CoV-2”, told Lusa the owner of a pharmacy on the beach da Rocha, in Portimão.

According to António Pedro, “the race for self-tests and for antigen tests subsidized by the State”, the latter carried out in pharmacies, it was verified as soon as the restrictions imposed by the Government for access to tourist accommodation, restaurants (for the purposes of of week) and events in the municipalities at high or very high risk.

The responsible for pharmacy Palma Santos, which integrates the network of pharmacies with shared tests, said that, so far, there has been no disruption of ‘stock’, “given that a substantial supply of products was made in a timely manner, with a view to this increase in demand”.

On the other hand, he noted, “there are also many suppliers”, so there is no prospect of “a possible disruption or difficulty in acquiring the tests”.

The rapid antigen tests are 100% subsidized by the State since the 1st of July, there are currently 406 pharmacies in the country offering free tests in their establishments.

The reimbursement is limited to a maximum of four tests per month per person and does not apply to those who already have a vaccination certificate or a recovery certificate. The program also does not cover tests for children under 12 years old. 

A positive case in a kindergarten in Almodôvar requires testing 39 children and nine female employees

The detection of a positive case of Covid-19 in a child at the Santa Casa da Misericórdia in Almodôvar will lead to testing 39 others and also nine collaborators of the institution.

The announcement was made this Monday, July 26, by António Bota, Mayor, on Facebook.

The mayor explains that at the origin of the outbreak is a child who tested positive, which led the health authorities to opt for the closing of three rooms in that establishment.

The situation involves a total of 39 children and nine collaborators who will be tested today, the 27th.

The mayor clarifies that the City Council will make available the hiring of a specialized team to disinfect the entire space of the nursery, “so that there is greater confidence for those who circulate and work in these spaces”.

António Bota says that the municipal executive is working in coordination with the DGS and the institution’s management, so that the situation is quickly brought under control.

Algarve clubs may have government support to “Reactivate Sport”

Applications must be made by August 16th.

The Algarve Football Association (AFA), together with the regional board of the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth (IPDJ) and with the participation of the Portuguese Football Federation, recently promoted an online clarification session for the Algarve emblems under the measure «Reactivate Sport», launched by the Government through the IPDJ, with the objective of supporting the economic recovery of its affiliated clubs, affected in recent seasons by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Taking into account the difficult situation in which sport finds itself, the Tutela intends to make the amounts in question available in the shortest possible time and that is the reason why the deadline for the submission of applications on the IPDJ website is the next one. August 16th.

“Since the start of the season is a particularly difficult period for all clubs, the time factor is decisive for the success of this initiative. In this way, the clubs have less than a month to guarantee an income that can make a difference in the accounts of the new season», considers the AFA.

The maximum amount to be received by each athlete (in all sports) can be up to 50 euros (non-refundable), and, in total, almost 8 million euros are available for football.

After the incentive measures promoted by the Algarve Football Association for clubs in this start of the sporting season, and the support provided by the Portuguese Football Federation, «this opportunity to help re-establish sport as a true driving force of society deserves attention of all who are involved in it and have kept it alive over the last year and a half, at a time when the practice of sports is increasingly having a decisive impact on the good training of human beings” 

Algarve Resident and Surfer Yolanda Hopkins “Very Happy” with 5th place in surfing event at Tokyo Olympics

Algarve resident and Surfer Yolanda Hopkins said she was “very happy” today with fifth place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which she hopes can change her life, with support that will allow her to be among the best in the world.

“I’ve already received a diploma in the first Olympic Games with surfing and I’m very happy about it. I’m very competitive and I came with gold in mind, I didn’t come to do anything else. I ended up falling a little behind, but I’m very happy with my performance. I know my surf is enough to get me up there. It wasn’t this one, it will be the next one”, said the young woman from Algarve.

On Tsurigasaki beach, in Chiba, Yolanda, 23, scored 5.46 points (3.93 and 1.53) in the first heat of the quarter-finals, which were insufficient to beat South African Bianca Buitendag, which accounted for 9.5 (6 and 3.5).

“It was a little difficult in there, with the tide running out. The waves formed and broke soon. Bianca caught one that raised a bit of the wall and gave her the opportunity to do more than one manoeuvre, which was what I lacked”, he lamented, after failing to take advantage of a priority of more than 10 minutes.

At the time of farewell, thanks to all those who have supported her, even in her most basic survival needs, and the confidence that after this performance, the necessary support will appear to reach a higher level in surfing.

 

Algarve Situation Report Wednesday 21st July 2021

This week we have seen a continued rise in Covid-19 cases across the Algarve. The General Directorate of Health (DGS ) today pointed out the existence of 29,967 cases of  coronaviruses  in the Algarve, 199 more than yesterday, and the region totals 378 (+1) deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.  In the daily update of the epidemiological situation in the municipality of São Brás de Alportel, on Monday, there were 69 (+6) active cases, 469 (+17) recovered, 137 (-3) people under surveillance and 12 deaths.

According to the latest status report released on Sunday by the Castro Marim City Council, the county has 14 active cases, 410 recovered and 2 deaths.  In Tavira there were, on Monday, 61 (+1) cases of coronavirus, 170 (-5) in isolation, 1699 (+5) recovered and 29 deaths, according to the municipality’s Facebook page.  In Alcoutim, the municipality registered on Saturday, 5 active cases.

According to the Facebook page of the municipality of Vila Real de Santo António, there were, on Monday, 47 (+2) active cases, 1343 (+5) recovered and 19 deaths. According to the municipality of Loulé, on Saturday, the county had 766 active cases, plus 64 recovered, 66 deaths and 12,130 administered vaccines. In Portimão there were, on Monday, 406 (+44) active cases and another 41 recovered, according to a Facebook publication by the municipality, while Aljezur had on Thursday 4 active cases, 133 recovered and 1 death.

The district capital, Faro, registered, on Monday, 635 (+39) active cases, 3807 (+9) recovered and 56 (+1) deaths, according to the Facebook page of the City Council. According to the Albufeira City Council, the county had, on Monday, 842 (+40) active cases, 2927 (+2) recovered and 45 deaths. Through its Facebook page, the municipality of Silves reveals that on Friday there were 191 active cases, 1435 recovered and 12 deaths, while in Lagos there were 296 (+17) active cases on Monday, 1701 (+19) recovered and 29 (+1) deaths. In Lagoa there were, on Monday, 148 (+10) active cases of coronavirus, 834 (+5) recovered and 15 deaths and Monchique had on Wednesday 7 active cases, 179 recovered and 11 deaths.

The lifting by the United Kingdom of the quarantine imposed on travellers from Portugal is a “step forward” for tourism and the Algarve hotel industry is “expectant” regarding the impact of the measure on reservations, according to the main regional hotel association. “The measure is yet another step towards lifting restrictions, which in practice have impeded and continue to impede travel, and we are somewhat expectant about the impact this could have on increased demand from tourists British,” said today, to the Lusa agency, the President of the Association of Hotels and Touristic Enterprises of the Algarve (AHETA), Elidérico Viegas.

The association leader said that it is “still soon” to know how this measure will impact demand, because, he recalled, “some of the previous restrictions continue to be maintained, namely the requirement, two days after returning to the United Kingdom, to do a PCR test”.

“Our country has not yet lifted restrictions on the entry of British tourists with the two doses of the vaccine, which is a pity, and it continues to require a test to enter Portugal”, exemplified Elidérico Viegas, considering that this restriction “also de somehow, it could be lifted”.

“Our perspectives point to having an occupation in the months of July and August that could be around 60%, still far from the usual 100% that occurred before the pandemic”, he estimated.

The President of AHETA stressed that these predicted occupancy rates are “more or less identical” to last year and lamented that the “predictions of having a much better summer than last year” are being “compromised by the restrictions that have been coming to be announced and by the recommendations of countries that are very important in the tourist demand of the region, such as Germany, Netherlands or Ireland”.

 

 

Algarve Situation Report Saturday 17th July 2021

 

SYNLAB strengthens covid-19 testing capacity in the Algarve with the opening of 10 units

The SYNLAB company has opened ten new units in various regions of the Algarve, to carry out covid-19 PCR and antigen tests, without the need for previous appointments, in the car (“drive” format) or while the customer is on a walk (“walk” format).

Located in Albufeira, Almancil, Olhão, Portimão, Vilamoura and Faro, these new units are intended only for people who wish to take the test on a private basis. No free tests are carried out with co-payment from the SNS, nor tests with co-payment from insurance companies, the company clarifies in a statement.

Tests are performed using a swab, with no need for fasting or special preparation. PCR test results are sent within 24h-48h, and antigen test results are available within 1 to 2 hours. The results are sent by email and/or to the SYNLAB Access app, being available in 6 languages, including Portuguese and English, records the same document.

“At a time when the number of cases in the Algarve has been growing, and with thousands of people traveling at this time of year to spend holidays in the region, these units are an important contribution to the screening and control of the pandemic», reads yourself in the same document.

For more information, contact 300 067 051 or send an email to covid19@synlab.pt.

 

Covid-19: Monchique demands correction of error that puts county at high risk

The mayor of Monchique today demanded that the error that puts the county at high risk of incidence of covid-19 be corrected by 7:00 pm so as not to jeopardize the restoration and other economic activities.

“To see if until seven in the afternoon there is a deliberation by the Government on this issue so that it can be resolved before the rules for the restoration come into force”, stressed to Lusa Rui André.

The announcement of placing the county at high risk was made known after the meeting of the Council of Ministers held this Thursday and was taken to believe that the county would have surpassed 120 cases of covid-19 per 100,000 inhabitants, but Rui André he stressed that, in the case of low-density territories, the criterion “is two weeks of 240 cases”.

“We never had even one out of 240. As this is an error, which has happened on other occasions, the General Directorate of Health (DGS) corrected the situation and I hope the same happens now”, he stressed.

With “only seven active cases” in the population – data from June 15 – and having reached “11 cases in just three days” in the last two weeks, he highlighted that it corresponds to an incidence of “217/100 thousand inhabitants”.

Burned wood awaiting removal from Monchique from 2018 fire

Monchique, Faro, July 16, 2021 (Lusa) – Thirty thousand tons of wood burned in the wake of the 2018 fire in Monchique are awaiting a protocol with the Government to be cut and removed from the land, according to the mayor.

Rui André told Lusa that a meeting with the Secretary of State for Nature, Forests and Spatial Planning, João Catarino, resulted in a commitment to a protocol between the municipality and the tutelage to “ensure support for transport” of the wood still on the ground.

The mayor revealed that five thousand tons of wood already cut and stacked along several roads in the mountain began this week to be transported to the biomass production plant in Huelva, Spain, in a transport financed by the Monchique Town Hall, in the district of Faro (Algarve).

The agreement for the remaining 30 thousand tons will be based on the protocol signed between the municipality and the Association of Forestry Producers of the Barlavento Algarvio (Aspaflobal), which was “very well received by the member of the Government”. According to the mayor of the municipality, the protocol is expected to be implemented in the next few days, thus guaranteeing support for this situation “to be resolved”.

“In addition to an economic, civil protection and public health problem, we are here with an environmental issue, because the trees that are not removed rot and can create a phytosanitary problem that can harm other species and delay the normal cutting cycle” , he warned.

Rui André revealed that the municipality decided to advance with the 45 thousand euros needed to transport the burned wood already collected to a factory in Spain because the purchase price no longer covers the costs of the operation, but it does not have the capacity to cover the entire collection.

At issue is the unexpected closure of the nearest biomass plant, in Cercal do Alentejo (Santiago do Cacém, Setúbal district), and the fact that the amount paid for another plant in Setúbal, with the increase in transport costs, ceases to compensate the work of loggers.

 

 

Algarve Situation Report Wednesday 14th July 2021

 

Covid-19: 60% of people in the Algarve have already received a dose of the vaccine, 40% have a complete process.

60% of the population of the Algarve has already received at least one dose of a vaccine against Covid-19, while 40% has finished the process, according to the bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) this Tuesday, 13 of July.

Last week, the region broke a new record, administering 50,763 doses, a number never before reached. Compared to the last report, the region has 5% more residents on one dose and 7% on both.

In total, since December, 413,045 vaccines have been given in the Algarve.

Covid-19: Delta variant responsible for 100% of infections in the Algarve.

The Delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues to be dominant in all regions of the country, being already responsible for all cases of infections in Lisbon and Vale do Tajo and in the Algarve.

According to the report by the National Institute of Health Doctor Ricardo Jorge (INSA) released today, this variant, associated with India and considered more transmissible, has a prevalence of 86.6% in Portugal, while Alpha, and initially identified in the United Kingdom, only it was responsible for 10.2% of infections in the week of June 28th to July 4th.

The INSA further states that the Delta variant already has a prevalence of 100% in the Lisbon and Vale do Tajo and Algarve regions, 88.2 in the North, 81.8 in the Center, 95% in Alentejo, 62.5 % in the Azores and 79.2% in Madeira.

“Among other variants of interest in circulation in Portugal, the variant/lineage B.1.621 stands out, initially detected in Colombia, which has shown a relative frequency of around 1% in recent weeks”, says the study on diversity genetics of the new coronavirus in Portugal.

According to the document, this “variant of interest” has several mutations in the `spike’ protein that are shared with some “variants of concern”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies the virus variants as “concern” (VOC) or “interested” (VOI), having assigned, at the end of May, the designation of letters of the Greek alphabet to facilitate understanding.

They came from Belgium just to clean up the Ria Formosa.

Despite all the constraints on the movement of people, resulting from the restriction measures imposed by the governments due to the health crisis caused by Covid-19, the Association for the Study and Conservation of the Oceans (AECO) once again received scouts from various regions of the country this year, including Belgium, to participate in their “traditional” awareness and clean-up campaigns in the Ria Formosa.

The association based on the University of Algarve’s Campus de Gambelas, informed that this year, the teams concentrated their efforts on Faro beach and managed to cover about 5 km outside the urbanized area, removing plastics and other non-biodegradable materials, such as masks, personal protection and single-use metal packaging.

“Nature conservation cannot wait” stressed Ricardo Barradas member of the AECO. After a year of stoppage, continuing “the support of the Municipality of Faro and Algar was essential for us to return to the field. Realizing that there is more and more to be done, it seems that instead of reducing we are producing more and more waste”.

In addition to garbage collection, the young people collaborated in activities to refurbish public facilities, painting rusty railings and gates or removing weeds from the soccer field on the beach.

Covid-19: Hospitals in the Algarve have 50% capacity for patients.

Hospitals in the Algarve have 60 patients in Covid-19 wards, 13 of which are in intensive care, which represents about 50% of the capacity of phase 2 of the contingency plan, said today a source at the Hospital Center.

“Right now, we have 50% of our total intensive care capacity destined for covid patients, which does not affect other services, with hospitals in normal operation,” said one of the members of the board of directors of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Algarve (CHUA), Paulo Neves.

According to the official, the 50% refers to the capacity of beds foreseen for phase 2 of the contingency plan, with the Algarve hospitals “still having room to increase this capacity, if necessary.”

“We have a contingency plan that can be adjusted and increased according to needs, but we have the perspective of not having a substantial increase in the number of cases of the disease”, he indicated.

According to Paulo Neves, the perspective “has to do with the number of cases registered on average in the last four days, given that, in that period, there was no significant variation in the number of admissions in hospitals in the Algarve”.

“Our forecast is that the trend that has been seen since the beginning of the month of people needing hospitalization will continue, although we are prepared to respond to a possible increase in severe cases of the disease”, he stressed.

In the official’s opinion, “vaccination coverage is playing an important role in the number of serious cases and deaths” related to the disease in the Algarve, exemplifying with the low number, four, of patients hospitalized in intensive care needing assisted ventilation”.