Azores Situation Report Wednesday 29th June 2022  

From our colleague in the Azores

Covid-19 

In the seven days from Friday 17th June until Thursday 23rd of June there were 2906 new positive cases of Covid-19 registered in the Azores, and a total of 5,012 tests performed. 3,585 people have recovered, and no new deaths have been recorded with the total at 117 There are a total of 2,734 active cases, 679 fewer than the previous week.

There are 35 patients in the region’s hospitals as of 24th June with Covid and 9 patients are in hospital because of Covid. There are no patients in the ICU.

112439 people in the region have had Covid, that’s over 43% of the population.

São Jorge Island with 39,995 earthquakes since March 

The island of São Jorge has registered 39,995 earthquakes since March 19, of which 291 were felt by the population, the Azores Seismo-volcanic Information and Surveillance Centre (CIVISA) said today.

In a status report on the seismo-volcanic crisis on that Azorean island, published on its official website, CIVISA states that “to date, approximately 39,995 events of low magnitude and of tectonic origin have been recorded”.

According to CIVISA, the seismo-volcanic activity on that island “continues above normal, extending, roughly, from Ponta dos Rosais to the Norte Pequeno – Silveira area”.

“Globally, the seismic activity of the last few weeks shows a slight downward trend, sometimes interrupted by short periods of higher frequency and/or energy released, with the hypocentres currently being located, in general, at depths greater than five kilometres”.

CIVISA indicates that “the existing data since the beginning of April do not show significant deformation in the epicentral zone”.

On the other hand, “the campaigns to measure gases and temperature in the soil that have been developed since the beginning of this crisis in the epicentral area have not resulted, to date, in the identification of anomalies resulting from seismo-volcanic activity”.

“The integration of available information allows us to conclude that the tectonic structures where the historical eruptions of 1580 and 1808 developed, and the 1964 – crisis, in the Fissural Volcanic System of Herds, were reactivated, and it must be admitted that at the beginning of the phenomenon there was a deep magmatic intrusion”, describes that entity.

On June 8th, CIVISA lowered the alert level on the island of São Jorge from V4 (threat of eruption) to V3 (active system with no imminent eruption).

“The decrease in seismic activity, albeit slow, and the observation of such a pattern over the last few weeks, as well as the absence of other anomalous signs in terms of deformation, gases and waters, led to the descent of the scientific alert level”, he justifies.

The island had been since March 23rd, at 15:30 (another hour in Lisbon), with the volcanic alert level V4 out of a total of seven, where V0 means “state of rest” and V6 “eruption in progress”, following the seismo-volcanic crisis recorded since 19th March.

Despite the lowering of the alert, “seismic activity remains well above the reference values ​​for the region, so there is still the possibility of registering felt events”.

According to CIVISA, “the possible occurrence of earthquakes of higher magnitude cannot be excluded either”.

CIVISA “maintains monitoring levels” on the island, while “is providing the reinforcement of the permanent seismo-volcanic observation network, in order to detect precursor signs of a new pre-eruptive situation”.

The earthquake of greater magnitude (3.8 on the Richter scale) of this crisis occurred on March 29th at 21:56.

http://www.ivar.azores.gov.pt/civisa/Paginas/homeCIVISA.aspx

Mainland, Madeira and Azores with very high risk of UV radiation 

Mainland Portugal and the archipelagos of Madeira and Azores presented on Monday a very high and high risk of exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV), according to the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA).

The mainland, the islands of Porto Santo, São Miguel, Faial and Flores (Azores) are currently at very high risk of exposure to UV radiation.

With high levels of radiation exposure, are the islands of Madeira and Terceira, in the Azores.

The ultraviolet radiation scale has five levels, between extreme and low risk.

For regions with very high risk, the IPMA advises the use of sunglasses with a UV filter, a hat, ‘t-shirt’, parasol, sunscreen and that children, should not be exposed to the sun.

For regions with high risk, it recommends the use of sunglasses with UV filter, hat, ‘t-shirt’ and sunscreen.

 

Situation Report Azores Wednesday 15th June 2022  

From our colleague in the Azores

Covid-19 

In the seven days from Friday 3rd June until Thursday 9th of June there were 3885 new positive cases of Covid-19 registered in the Azores, and a total of 6,179 tests performed. 4,076 people have recovered, and two deaths have been recorded with the total at 114 There are a total of 4,235 active cases, 190 fewer than last week.

There are 63 patients in the region’s hospitals as of 9th June and 30 patients are in hospital because of Covid only. There are 2 patients in the ICU.

101812 people in the region have had Covid, that’s over a third of the population.

Rescued in the Azores two sailboat crew members adrift 

The Portuguese Navy this morning rescued two crew members of a sailboat that was adrift due to “several anomalies”, off the island of Faial.

According to the statement from the Navy, through the Ponta Delgada Maritime Search and Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC Delgada), in conjunction with the National Maritime Authority (AMN), “assistance was coordinated to two crew members, who were aboard the sailboat ‘Zambla’, flying the French flag, this morning, at 01:05 am, on the 13th of June”.

The Navy said that the vessel was off the island of Faial, 3.5 nautical miles, the equivalent of about six kilometres, southeast of the port of Horta, and “was adrift due to various anomalies”.

“The captain of the port of Horta acted on the spot, sending elements from the Horta Lifeguard Station to the vessel. The sailboat was towed, for reasons of navigation safety, having docked, at 03:47, at Marina da Horta, with the two crew members”, concludes the Navy.

Maritime Police recovered decomposing body off the island of Santa Maria 

A body in a high state of decomposition was collected this Sunday by the Maritime Police about 25 nautical miles (about 46 kilometres) from Vila do Porto, on the island of Santa Maria, revealed the National Maritime Authority.

In a statement, that entity clarifies that the local command of the Maritime Police of Vila do Porto received, at 12:04, “through a coastal fishing vessel” the alert for the corpse, which, “apparently”, will be from a man.

The Maritime Authority explains that “the body was collected and transported by elements of the Maritime Police to the port of Vila do Porto, where death was declared by the Health Delegate”.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office was also contacted, and the body was later transported to the Medico-Legal Office of the Santa Maria Health Centre by members of the Azores Regional Civil Protection and Fire Service.

Graciosa Health Unit will have three more doctors and two nurses 

The Health Unit on the island of Graciosa, in the Azores, will have three more doctors, two of whom are in general and family medicine, an internist and two nurses.

 

Situation Report Azores Wednesday  1st June 2022  

From our colleague in the Azores

Covid-19 

In the seven days from Friday 20th of May until Thursday 26th of May there were 4889 new positive cases of Covid-19 registered in the Azores, and a total of 9,279 tests performed. 4,516 people have recovered, and no deaths have been recorded with the total remaining at 111.  There are a total of 4,926 active cases, 380 more than last week.

There are 24 patients in the region’s hospitals as of Thursday 26th May and none in the ICU.

98,069 people in the region have had Covid, that’s over a third of the population.

Ponta Delgada hospital with 70 inpatients breaks record since the beginning of the pandemic 

The Divino Espírito Hospital (HDES), in Ponta Delgada, revealed that it has 70 patients hospitalized with covid-19, the highest number since the beginning of the pandemic, which is causing a “huge load” on the unit’s services.

On Monday 30th May there were 70 ‘covid’ patients hospitalized in our wards and this is the largest number of ‘covid’ patients we have had so far, in hospital. They are spread over four wards,” said the HDES communication office.

The board of directors of the largest hospital in the region emphasizes that “it is monitoring the evolution of the situation daily”, admitting that it is “undeniable” that covid-19 “is having a huge load” on the unit’s services.

“The moment capacity is sufficient. In the future, the necessary and appropriate measures will be taken in view of the number of hospitalizations that arise”, reads the written position of the HDES.

The Ponta Delgada hospital also advances that the number of emergency room occurrences “has also broken records” due to covid-19 and “all kinds of pathologies”.

“HDES is living an exceptional time, even when we talk about this pandemic”, stresses the hospital administration.

On Thursday, the HDES announced the suspension of visits to inpatients due to the increase in the number of cases on the island of São Miguel.

On Friday, in the last weekly update on the epidemiological situation, the Regional Health Authority indicated that there were 24 people hospitalized with covid-19 in the Azores: 14 patients in Ponta Delgada, three in Horta and seven in Angra do Heroísmo. None were in intensive care.

Seven islands in the Azores under yellow warning due to rain and thunderstorms 

The islands of the central and eastern groups of the Azores will be under yellow warning from Monday due to sometimes heavy rain, which can be accompanied by thunderstorms, the IPMA said in a statement today.

Man arrested for attempted murder in Ponta Delgada 

The Judiciary Police, through the Criminal Investigation Department of the Azores, proceeded to the arrest of a man, due to strong indications of the practice of the crime of murder, in the attempted form, with a 42-year-old man as the victim.

According to a statement from the Judiciary Police, the “facts took place in Ponta Delgada, on the island of São Miguel, in a context of altercation potentiated by the consumption of alcohol and other psychoactive substances, which culminated in a violent attack by the accused against the victim, producing wounds in the thoracic region, using a sharp-edged object”.

The detainee, 39 years old and with a criminal record, was presented to the competent judicial authorities, “having been applied the coercive measure of preventive detention”.

 

Situation Report Azores Wednesday 25th May 2022

 From our colleague in the Azores   

Covid-19 

In the seven days from Friday 13th of May until Thursday 19th of May there were 991 new positive cases of Covid-19 registered in the Azores, and a total of 9,718 tests performed. 3,826 people have recovered, and one death has been recorded bringing the total to 111.  There are a total of 4,546 active cases, 991 more than last week.

There are 24 patients in the region’s hospitals and none in the ICU.

93,180 people in the region have had Covid, that’s over a third of the population.

REGIONAL HEALTH DIRECTORATE, 2nd Dose of the Booster vaccine for COVID-19 

Starts this Monday in Terceira and Santa Maria islands, the administration of the 2nd dose of reinforcement of the vaccine against Covid-19.

In the following days, the same will happen in the remaining islands, so that next week, the process will cover the entire archipelago.

Immediately, the 2nd booster dose is intended for people aged 80 or older, and residents of Residential Structures for the Elderly (ERPI), including people who have recovered from infection with SARS-COV-The primary purpose of administration currently is to protect against severe illness and death from COVID-19 in these most at-risk and vulnerable populations.

Entrepreneurs from São Jorge want “immediate liquidity support” for companies 

Businesspeople from São Jorge, in the Azores, today claimed “immediate liquidity support” for companies on the island that have been affected by the seismic volcanic crisis, justifying that the situation “has had immediate repercussions on the local economy” and could continue.

Monkeypox virus belongs to less aggressive strain 

Microbiologist João Paulo Gomes said that the Monkeypox virus circulating in several countries, including Portugal, where it is not endemic, belongs to a less aggressive lineage originating in West Africa.

“This is the least severe form of the virus”, the researcher at the National Institute of Health Doctor Ricardo Jorge (Insa) told Lusa, in Lisbon, where the team he directs sequenced the Monkeypox genome at the origin of the recent outbreak, making Portugal the first country to do so.

João Paulo Gomes, responsible for the Genomics and Bioinformatics Nucleus at the Insurgent Disease Department, where the work was carried out, added that the virus currently circulating in countries where it is not endemic is of the virus lineage circulating in West Africa, where is endemic, but less aggressive.

There is a second lineage of Monkeypox, from Central Africa, where it is also endemic, which is more aggressive.

According to Insa experts, who have already sequenced the Monkeypox genome of 10 infected people, the outbreak virus detected this month “is most closely related to viruses associated with the export of Monkeypox virus from Nigeria to several countries in 2018 and 2019, namely the United Kingdom, Israel and Singapore”.

João Paulo Gomes said that “potentially this is a single introduction” of the virus, imported, “which originated chains of transmission that later spread to several countries”.

The researcher stressed that the virus at the origin of the current outbreak “appeared very recently”, but “is evolving” rapidly, “accumulating genetic mutations”, when, due to “inherent characteristics”, Monkeypox “is a virus that typically has a lower mutation rate”.

“In theory, it evolves more than we expected. Eventually we will be able to realize that these genomic characteristics may be associated with greater transmissibility, we still don’t know”, he underlined, pointing out genomic sequencing as a “fundamental tool to support the decision of public health”.

According to João Paulo Gomes, “it is important that all countries sequence, release the genetic sequences” of the virus and “make a public sharing” of the data “so that the history of this outbreak can be quickly constructed, understand which country of origin was, understand where [the virus] was introduced in Europe and the rest of the world and what was the chronology in terms of spread across the various countries”.

The microbiologist considers that “there is no cause for concern”, but “above all, a reason to act, to block the chains of transmission, to carry out strong surveillance and quickly dismiss all suspected cases”.

“There is no doubt that over the next few weeks we will see a very aggressive evolution of this situation, but the characteristics of the transmission of the virus do not predict that its containment will be very difficult”, he maintained, remembering that “direct, very close contact ” for transmission to occur between people.