Portugal Situation Report Wednesday 29th June 2022

Good morning – On Monday I attended the “Safe Summer” presentation event at Regional Tourism Algarve, which was also attended by the Minister of Internal Administration, the National Director of the PSP, a representative of the General Commanding the GNR and the President of the ANEPC as well as other officials.

This event is held annually basically to announce the reinforcements of the security forces over the summer period, when more tourists will be visiting the Algarve. During the presentations it was pleasing to see the increase in tourism so far this year as well as learning from the presenters an outline of the various plans in place to help keep the Algarve a safe destination. Certainly the presentation from the PSP illustrated that only 4% of reported crime involved tourists in PSP areas – which are the main cities.

I had the opportunity to meet the Minister of Internal Administration   after the presentations, and we discussed the issue of safety in the Algarve. From this I thought, that although the Algarve and indeed Portugal is recognised as a safe place to visit and live, as illustrated by low crime rates and our consistently high standing in the Global Peace Index, what are the main reasons for this, and why for instance in neighbouring countries in southern Europe it is less safe.   I welcome thoughts on the topic – namely why is Portugal a safe place to live and visit?

The Portuguese coast presents, in some places of the coastal zone, a landscape that is characterized by its irregular nature resulting from erosion. The natural beauty sought after by users of these areas is, however, inseparable from the risk arising from the instability of the cliffs. On rocky coasts, there are cliffs that are permanently or periodically exposed to the action of the sea. This includes parts of the Algarve. It is important therefore that when you visit the beach to be on the lookout for these signs and keep well away from the foot of the cliffs concerned.

Unfortunately in the past people have been injured as well as deaths caused by landslides and falling rocks.

Lastly it was reported yesterday that the GNR had rescued 28 dogs that were allegedly being mistreated, in the municipality of Viseu, as part of an order from the Public Ministry. They were lucky but there are many dogs and other animals that are mistreated every day. You can contact the GNR hotline at 808 200 520 or make a complain online here https://www.gnr.pt/ambiente.aspx

Turning to the drought situation the government announced that Portugal mainland is officially at a state of severe/extreme drought. The drought situation has worsened considerably since the beginning of May and now we await the monthly figures for June, which should be released in the next week.

The President of the IPMA has described the drought situation is getting worse. On June 15 and, comparing to history, only the year 2005 compares to the current one and it was a very complicated year in terms of summer and risks associated with drought. Almost all of the continent is either in severe or extreme drought, and we’ve had a deficit of watersheds for two years. In terms of regions south of the continent and northeast Alentejo are those with the lowest percentage of water in the soil”. He called on everyone moderate consumption and they realize that the water is little and has to reach everyone”. We certainly echo that call.

Thank you Susan, Mike, Chris and for helping to put together these reports. With that note please have a safe day.


The “Ocean’s Promise” to deliver by 2030

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) pledged on Tuesday to help recover one billion dollars annually lost due to misuse and management of the ocean’s potential.

The “Ocean’s Promise”, launched at the Lisbon Ocean Conference, will be applied in support that until 2030 will focus on making the exploitation of fish stocks 100% sustainable, accelerating the end of the scourge of ocean pollution by plastics and allowing a hundreds of countries with a coastline fulfill the full potential of their blue economies, said a UNDP official.

The official stressed that the sustainable development objective for the oceans has “the lowest level of investment of all sustainable development objectives”, which is no more than 1.3 billion per year.

“The entire ecosystem is affected by the ocean crisis. There is a knock-on effect, people lose health, jobs and livelihoods ,” he said, adding that part of the promise is to recruit investment worth at least US$1 billion for “protection and recovery” of the ocean environment , combining efforts to other existing United Nations programs.

The head of the United Nations program for the Governance of Water and Ocean, Andrew Hudson, said that the ocean is a market with an estimated value of three billion dollars annually and that the first priority to get the billion that is not used for cause of mismanagement is “recover and protect”.

Among the effects of this mismanagement are the loss of biodiversity, overfishing, ocean acidification and excess nutrients used in agricultural fertilizers that end up in the seas .

He stressed that “it is really necessary to accelerate” the achievement of the objective of sustainable development of the oceans (the 14th of 17), indicating that four of the goals were overcome in the year 2020 without being reached, including the protection of 10% of marine areas and combating overfishing.

The pledge launched this Tuesday has “tangible and ambitious goals” and focuses on fisheries sustainability and protection of marine areas, said Usha Rao-Monari, for which the UNDP intends “new partnerships” for funding, including private and civil society. .

State Council meeting with John Kerry began at about 4:45 pm with five absences

The Council of State with the participation as a guest of John Kerry, special envoy of the President of the United States of America for the climate, met yesterday at around 16:45, with five absences.

The political body of consultation of the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, is meeting at the Palácio da Cidadela de Cascais, district of Lisbon. The theme of the meeting is “the perspectives, challenges and opportunities of combating climate change and the energy transition”.

According to a source from the Presidency of the Republic, the State Councillors Lídia Jorge, António Damásio, Leonor Beleza, the President of the Constitutional Court, João Caupers, and the Prime Minister, António Costa, are not present at the Palace of Cascais. Thets representation is the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva.

Immediately before this meeting, the five councillors elected by the Assembly of the Republic on April 29 for this legislature took office: Carlos César, Manuel Alegre and António Sampaio da Nóvoa, appointed by the PS, Francisco Pinto Balsemão and Miguel Cadilhe, appointed by the PSD.

The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, invited John Kerry to participate in a meeting of the Council of State on 11 February, in a meeting that the two had in Brest, France, on the sidelines of the international summit “One Ocean”, promoted by the presidency French of the European Union.

Yesterday’s meeting coincides with the 2nd United Nations (UN) Ocean Conference, jointly organized by Portugal and Kenya, which takes place between Monday and Friday, in Lisbon.

Accidents with bicycles increased by 20.4% in 2021 and deaths more than doubled

Lisbon, June 28, 2022 (Lusa) – Bicycle accidents increased 20.4% last year compared to 2020 and deaths involving cyclists more than doubled, totalling 23 victims, the National Road Safety Authority (ANSR) revealed today.

According to the ANSR, accidents involving cyclists have resulted in 23 deaths in 2021 (130% more than in 2020), 138 seriously injured (plus 16%) and 2,511 minor injuries (plus 19.7%).

Last year, the number of deaths due to accidents with agricultural tractors also increased, with 14 victims (16.7% more than in 2020) and 25 seriously injured (8.7%), for a total of 194 disasters (plus 2). , 6%).

The report shows that cars were responsible for 72% of accidents last year, with 34,426 accidents (plus 12.8%), followed by mopeds and motorcycles, with 8,529 accidents (plus 8.4). %).

Despite the increase in accidents, deaths in cars had decreased by 14.4% in 2021 and in motorcycles also fell by 1.9%.

The ANSR indicates that in 2021 there were 29,217 accidents with 390 fatalities, 2,106 seriously injured and 34,217 minor injuries, maintaining the number of deaths compared to the previous year and registering increases in disasters (10.2%) and injuries ( + 15.1% severe and + 11.4% mild).

Comparing the values ​​of the continent in 2021 with the average of the previous five years (2016 to 2020), there have been reductions in the totals of all major indicators: minus 10.5% in accidents, minus 16.2% in fatalities, less 0.4% in the seriously injured and less 12.8% in the slightly injured ”, reads the report.


Portugal Situation Report Wednesday  22nd June 2022

Good morning – Five years ago this week was Portugal’s largest fire at Pedrogão Grande which resulted in the deaths of 65 people and around 204 injured with tremendous devastation to the area. The situation was repeated just four months later with extensive fires in the centre of Portugal whereupon and 45 people died. A year later in August 2018 there was the Monchique fire, where although no one died, there was extensive damage to property and people’s livelihoods plus some 37,000 hectares of land burned.

From the 2017 tragedies there have been many changes, which have boosted the growth of a stronger, more cohesive and objective civil protection culture – but there is still more to do, especially in getting communities more closely involved.

All these devastating fires have one thing in common and that is in the lead up to the fires the country at the time was in severe drought and temperatures were far higher than usual – in fact a similar situation to this year, except the drought situation is now is even more acute, two thirds the mainland at extreme drought.

It is therefore essential more than ever that people know what to do should a fire break out, and approaches your home. Do you await the arrival of the firefighters, who may not be able to reach you quickly, or do you attempt to leave your home? In a major fire situation where the fire has intensified to a point it has become out of control, attempting to leave your home could have drastic if not fatal consequences, as was the case in the Pedrogão Grande fire. Knowing the level of protection that the construction of your house affords in case of rural fires, and having a plan and knowing what to do if such a situation should arise, is therefore in everyone’s interest, especially those living in high risk areas.

In order to address such issues the Escola Nacional de Bombeiros  organized what was an excellent webinar on Monday this week where expert speakers address some of these issues particular the subject of evacuations. There were many learning points, particularly on how fires intensify and the impact this has on firefighting capacity. Basically the more it intensifies the less likelihood that it can be extinguished, hampering rescue operations and therefore the greater the likelihood of casualties if near populated areas.

It seems a pity therefore, that despite the widespread promotion of this event on various social media sites, and that it was over-subscribed on zoom, there appears few, if any from the foreign community who attended this, apart from three of us at Safe Communities. It included an excellent presentation on evacuations, which was in English! It is a sad point I feel that whereas active fires taking place will always garner interest on social media, preventive measures invariably receive less attention.

So my message is to take advantages of the opportunities out there, including our own website, to increase your awareness and knowledge of fires, because by doing so you will be more informed and more prepared, thus reducing the risk of injury, or worse, to yourself and family members should a major fire develop!

The theme of prevention, again is highlighted in a dangerous wells campaign we have recently launched, highlighting that with over 70 deaths and more injured through well accidents over the last five years, more preventive steps need to be taken by owners to cover their wells. This gained a fair response, but it is only after an accident takes place that you see the greater response. On Monday a foal fell into a well in Lagos and was thankfully rescued, requiring the deployment of 10 Bombeiros. This need not have happened if the owners had covered the well as required by law. Hopefully the “rescuers” will report this to the Lagos municipality so that enforcement action can be taken.

Finally – The arrival of hot weather and summer means that more time is spent outdoors. Whether at the beach, in the pool or even in the countryside, people are also much more exposed to the sun and, therefore, to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It is with the aim of helping people stay safe and protected that the WHO have launched the SunSmart Global UV App, an application that serves to alert to the levels of UV radiation. The app is available free of charge, in six languages on both the Apple App and Google Play stores for Iphones and Androids. Very helpful especially when travelling to countries with high UV levels.

With that have a safe day.


Government announces campaigns for efficient use of water

Lisbon, June 21, 2022 (Lusa) – The Government announced today that it will launch campaigns to promote the efficient use of water from July, aimed at all types of consumers, with monthly meetings to monitor the situation until the end of September.

The measures were announced today by the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro, at a joint press conference with the Minister of Agriculture and Food, Maria do Céu Antunes, after the two ministers presided over the 9th Meeting of the Permanent Commission on Prevention, Monitoring and Accompaniment of the Effects of Drought, in which an assessment of the situation was made regarding the meteorological, hydrological, hydro-agricultural situation, crops and animal watering, and the assessment of critical situations.

The ministers recalled that, according to official forecasts, 34% of the country is in severe drought and 66% is in extreme drought, and that rain forecasts will not reverse the situation.

Data from the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera indicate that this year is the driest on record (since 1931) and that only the year 2005 approached the current situation, so the meteorological and agrometeorological drought “forces to take measures ”.

At the beginning of February, there had already been a meeting of the Commission, at which measures were announced and taken, which will now be complemented with others, and, guaranteed Duarte Cordeiro, water for human consumption is safeguarded for two years. 

Major Carvalho, one of the biggest drug traffickers in the world, was captured


Former Brazilian major Sérgio de Carvalho, considered one of the biggest cocaine traffickers in the world and who was on the run in Lisbon for about two years, was captured this Tuesday in Hungary.

According to information gathered by JN, the fugitive, whom Portuguese and Brazilian authorities had seized 11.7 million euros in a van in Lisbon and almost forty planes in Brazil, was in Hungary with a forged Mexican passport.

Sérgio de Carvalho lived in Lisbon for almost two years. With international arrest warrants on him, this 62-year-old former Brazilian Military Police major managed to go unnoticed in the Portuguese capital, using three false identities and two apartments between 2019 and 2020.

In November 2020, when the Brazilian Federal Police and several European police forces advanced with a major search and arrest operation, Sérgio de Carvalho narrowly escaped our Judiciary.

Since then, there have been rumours about the drug trafficker’s whereabouts as different as Dubai and the Azores, but his arrest has only now been achieved, with the collaboration of police from different countries and the intervention of Europol.

Researchers launch website for owners of pets with cancer

Porto, June 21, 2022 (Lusa) – Researchers from the Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto (ISPUP) launched an online platform aimed at owners of pet animals with cancer, which aims to provide “credible” information and characterize risk factors associated with the development of the disease in animals.

Speaking to Lusa, Kátia Pinello, researcher at ISPUP and professor at the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS), clarified today that the ‘website’, entitled ‘Pet-OncoNet’, arises from the logic of ‘Uma Saúde’ (‘One Health’ in English) and the need to fill “a knowledge gap in this area”.

“We feel that tutors feel lost when dealing with the diagnosis of cancer in four-legged companions”, said the researcher, who is one of the coordinators of the project.

Launched to provide “credible, accurate and useful” information about companion animals, the digital platform includes, for example, data on the dog breeds most predisposed to the development of tumours, ways to detect cancer early in the pet, but also information on ongoing clinical trials and procedures to support the animal during treatment.

“Our goal is to create a community that studies and shares information about veterinary oncology in all aspects”, he said.

Consulted by Lusa, the website shows that in Portugal, the main tumours in companion animals are located in the skin, followed by mammary tumours.

In addition to providing information, the objective of the platform is also to characterize the risk factors associated with the development of cancer in animals and humans.

In order to proceed with the characterization of risk factors, the researchers are inviting all tutors and owners of companion animals – cats and dogs – to respond to an epidemiological survey, which will be available on the website until the end of December. October.

The results obtained within the scope of the survey will later be published on the initiative’s website. The researchers also want to create a “psychological support group” to help owners deal with animal grief, an issue that “is still not very well accepted”.

More here with links in English


Two thirds of mainland in Extreme drought and one third at severe drought

The rain that is expected to fall this week will not relieve the country of the drought that plagues the entire continental territory. According to the latest data from the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and the Atmosphere (IPMA), 66% of the country is in extreme drought and 33% in severe drought, announced the Minister of the Environment, Duarte Cordeiro, and the Minister of Agriculture, Maria do Céu Antunes, this Tuesday at a joint press conference.

At the end of May 97% of the mainland was at severe drought so this a marked worsening of the situation.

“We have to get used to living with less water”, said Duarte Cordeiro, assuring that “the country has water for human consumption safeguarded for two years”. The communication followed another meeting of the Permanent Commission for the Prevention, Monitoring and Follow-up of the Effects of Drought (CPPMAES).

In the end, the two authorities added 28 more measures to tackle the drought to the 50 announced since February. Among these, new awareness campaigns are being prepared for a more efficient and conscious use of water, aimed at consumers, farmers and industrialists and which will be launched until July.

Duarte Cordeiro also informed that Lisbon is in permanent liaison with Madrid, taking into account that Spain is also going through an extreme drought situation and that there will be a new meeting between the two countries at the end of the month.

In addition to the short-term measures, associated with the closure of fountains, limitations on the use of water in agriculture, restrictions on irrigation of green spaces and restrictions on hydroelectric production, the official recalled the structural measures associated with the reuse of treated wastewater, namely in the Algarve. .

A similar plan adapted to the Alentejo should be completed by July and a third plan will be prepared for the Tagus and Oeste region. These are actions to face “more resiliently” the problem of drought in Portugal, defended the Minister of the Environment.

In the Agriculture area, Minister Maria do Céu Antunes announced that of the 44 reservoirs monitored, 37 dams ensure storage to maintain irrigation campaigns, but their use is being done “very carefully”.

In the case of the Bravura dam, in the Algarve, with less than 14% of its capacity, use is being exclusively for public supply and two holes were drilled for agricultural irrigation and watering of animals.

In Santa Clara, in Alentejo, agricultural abstraction increased from 3550 hm3 per hectare to a maximum of 2000 hm3/ha in the Mira perimeter. And the “quota lowering” is planned to create conditions for public supply and for the rule.


Portugal Situation Report Wednesday 15thh June 2022 

Good morning – The first item this morning is a reminder of our dangerous wells campaign. Our first post reached many people, and we thank all of you who shared this important message. A shocking statistic is that in the last 5 years some 66 people have died after falling into wells, plus five more in the last 12 weeks! These have ranged from young children to the elderly from north to south of the country. This need not have happened if the owner of the well had made them safe as required by law.

If you are a property owner with land in the rural areas, check that your well is covered if the land is not walled or has adequate fencing. Many wells are in a state of disrepair and as the picture shows (from a property currently for sale in the north of Portugal) and can be a death trap especially for young children and animals.

I covered this topic on KissFm radio last Sunday and we will continue to promote this safety message whilst encouraging more pro-active awareness and enforcement action by municipalities.

Again a warning concerning safety on beaches in particular to stay away from unstable cliffs which are clearly marked, as well as safety when entering the water. There have been over 20 deaths from drowning at sea so far this year and without many of these are a result of rip currents.

In particular be alert for young children who may be attracted to a bright object/toy in the water and enter alone to try and retrieve it with drastic consequences.

With the recent very hot weather there are a number of public safety messages we have published over the last week. The first of these relates to health and to avoid excessive exercise especially during the hottest parts of the day. It is important to recognize the signs of dehydration and what immediate action to take. Always carry plenty of water with you when cycling or hiking.

The other relates to rural fires. Given the conditions over the last few days I am surprised that there has not been more fires, which hopefully shows that key messages on fire prevention are getting across. We monitor fires throughout the day and it is clear that over the last few days the majority of fires have been in the north and mainly late afternoon/evening coinciding with the hottest part of the day.

A very encouraging statistic is that the average time from registration of a fire until its conclusion is less than an hour and some less than 20 minutes. This is import because the longer a fire burns the greater the perimeter becomes and its intensity and the more resources are required to try and extinguish the fire. When the Rural Fire Hazard is very high or extreme, this can be particularly challenging for fire fighters, especially if there are multiple fires in the same area.

Each day we include in the fire risk the FWI Rural Fire Hazard as it is important that people are aware of how quickly a fire could start in their area. The higher the level means that that there the conditions in placed based on six measurements that determine the rate of the spread of fires.

Please report fires by dialling 112 immediately and avoid any actions that could inadvertently start a fire.

Alarms are sounding: water this summer will have to be managed with caution and limitations on public use of water are inevitable. Measures will be decided this month. May was very dry and forecasts for June are no better.

Saving water will have to be the watchword this summer. After some relief in March and April, the month of May was the hottest on record in Portugal and very dry. Accordingly the forecasts from the Portuguese Institute for the Sea and the Atmosphere, which are being worked on with the Portuguese Environment Agency, the prediction is for an even drier second half of June, which places the country in the most serious scenario ever in terms of water shortage at the beginning of summer.

We must do everything to conserve water

With that please have a Safe Day 


Minister of Health announces “contingency plan” in emergencies for the summer months

Lisbon, June 13, 2022 (Lusa) – The Minister of Health, Marta Temido, announced today, in Lisbon, that “a contingency plan” will be put in place between June and September to seek to solve the lack of doctors in hospital emergency rooms in the country.

Marta Temido was speaking after a day of meetings with clinical directors of several hospitals in the Lisbon region, and then with unions and the Medical Association about the “instability of the operation” of these services.

In the short term, said the minister, the Government will move forward with “a contingency plan in the months of June, July, August and September, with a more articulated, anticipated and organized operation of network emergencies, of the National Health Service”.

The lack of doctors in several hospitals in the country has led in recent days to the closure of obstetrics emergencies, or requests to the urgent patient guidance centers (CODU) to refer users to other hospitals.

In statements to journalists, the Minister of Health also spoke of the opening of the hiring of specialists, namely with the opening of a competition, and the “precaution of remuneration issues”, in addition to the “support for those who are on the ground and the leaders” of hospitals. .

It is the CODU, from the Mécia National Institute of Emergency (INEM), who receive 112 calls related to health emergencies, then manage the necessary means to respond to users. 

Doctors say the 2021-2030 National Health Plan is incomplete and point to omissions

Lisbon, June 14, 2022 (Lusa) – The Portuguese Medical Association considers that the National Health Plan (PNS) 2021-2030 is incomplete and points to omissions in the areas of chronic kidney disease, which affects 10% to 20% of Portuguese people, and musculoskeletal rheumatic diseases.

In a document that Lusa had access to, the Ordem dos Médicos (OM) also says that the PNS “ignores the enormous weight of the problems relating to the national health system and, in particular, to the National Health Service”, stressing that “the The absence of a diagnosis regarding the very structures of the system, makes the elaborated plan incomplete and makes it impossible to fulfil other objectives in the next decade”.

Speaking to Lusa, the chairman of the Ordem dos Médicos considered that there are several important issues that “have not been properly evaluated” in what is intended in a National Health Plan for the next 10 years.

“We are going to have changes in migratory flows – we are already having and we will have them on a larger scale – and this is not foreseen in the National Health Plan”, said Miguel Guimarães, insisting that “these plans require certain types of options and, if perhaps, to some interventions so that these people can have access to health care, so that they can be integrated. And none of this is planned.”

In the position it issued in the public consultation of the PNS 2021-2030, the OM says that chronic kidney disease is not given due importance, recalling that it is “very prevalent” – it affects 10% to 20% of the Portuguese population – and underlines that the incidence “is expected to increase in the coming decades”.

It is estimated that by 2040, chronic kidney disease will be the fifth cause of years of life lost.

“Chronic kidney disease is linked to a part of the costs that the State has in the partnerships it makes to ensure services, such as haemodialysis”, underlined the chairman, also highlighting the “huge effort” that the country has made and carried out in the area of ​​transplantation. 

Portugal has granted more than 42,000 temporary protections to people who fled the war in Ukraine

Lisbon, June 14, 2022 (Lusa) – Portugal has so far granted more than 42,000 temporary protections to people who fled the war in Ukraine and reported to the Public Ministry the situation of 731 children who arrived in the country without their parents, indicated the SEF.

According to the latest update made by the Foreigners and Borders Service (SEF), since the beginning of the war, on February 24, Portugal has granted 42,151 temporary protections to Ukrainian citizens and foreigners residing in Ukraine, 26,620 of which to women and 15,531 men. .

The SEF adds that the largest number of temporary protections granted continues to be in Lisbon (7,646), Cascais (2,635), Porto (1,630), Sentra (1,495) and Albufeira (1,168).

The SEF also indicates that it issued 37,881 certificates granting residence permits under the temporary protection regime.

This certificate, issued after the National Health Service, Social Security and Tax Authority have assigned the respective numbers, is necessary for refugees to start working and access support.

During the process of allocating these numbers, citizens can consult the numbers that, in the meantime, are being allocated, in their reserved area of ​​the digital platform https://sefforukraine.sef.pt.

The SEF also adds that requests for temporary protection were authorized for 12,743 minors, representing about 30% of the total.

The SEF also reveals that it communicated to the Public Prosecutor (MP) the situation of 731 Ukrainian minors who arrived in Portugal without their parents or legal representatives, cases in which it is considered that there is no “current or imminent danger”.

In these situations, in which in most cases the child arrived in Portugal with a family member, the case is communicated to the MP for the appointment of a legal representative and eventual promotion of a process for the protection of the child.


Portugal Situation Report Wednesday 8th June 2022 

Good morning – we start the day with a shocking statistic and that is that so far this year 13 women have been killed as a result of domestic violence by a spouse, two in the last few days. This compares with 16 for the whole of last year. It is not just women as it was reported last year that five men had also died as a result of conjugal violence. Unfortunately domestic violence in 2021 was the most reported crime in Portugal.

Domestic Violence is a public crime in Portugal. This means that anyone in addition to victim can file a complaint with the PSP, GNR, Judiciary Police, Public Prosecutor or Legal Medicine Institute. Also via the internet through the Electronic Complaint System. Whether the victim lodges a complaint or not, a complaint or knowledge of the crime is sufficient for the authorities to act and for an investigation to be opened. There are also organisations such as APAV, who are experienced and trained in handling such cases.

Safe Communities and APAV will be holding a seminar on Domestic Violence in Loulé on Thursday 9th June at the Palácio Gama Lobo, Rua de Nossa Senhora de Fátima, 8100-557, Loulé. I am sure this will be raised with a view of what more can be done to prevent such tragedies. The seminar is open to the public, is in English and we encourage people to attend.

Turning to beach safety, APA the environmental authority have identified 103 bathing areas that have cliffs that are potentially dangerous, 28 have half of the sand in cliff protection areas, according to the decree that defines the beginning of the bathing season. On these beaches it is only advisable to sunbathe in a narrow strip next to the water – not at the foot of the cliff itself. There are warning signs where this risk exists and we ask people to heed such warnings and not put yourselves/your family at risk.

This article in yesterday’s Expresso appears following a meeting by Safe Communities Portugal with the Algarve Regional Director APA on 24th May, requesting that more publicity and awareness be given to the state of cliffs and compliance with danger signs. The director undertook to do so.

Over the next few days according to the IPMA temperatures will increase slightly and in certain parts in particular the eastern Algarve temperatures of around 36C – 37C are expected. With this of course comes the increased risk of rural fires. The civil protection authority and all those involved in tackling fires are prepared – but are you? We urge to monitor the fire risk at the start of each day which can be done on our Facebook page (posted around 0800 hrs), follow the restrictions which are in place to avoid inadvertently starting a fire.

In particular please remember that when the fire risk is VERY HIGH/MAXIMUM in your municipality, you are prohibited from using motorised equipment such as chainsaws scrub-clearing machinery and shredders, all equipment with exhausts without flame-retardant equipment, cutting equipment such as chainsaws or grinders, or the operation of mechanical methods which, in their use on natural or artificial materials, generate sparks or heat”. On the other days there are no restrictions on the use of machinery. This is applicable in rural territories AND in the surroundings of built-up areas.

Should you not follow this and a fire results, you could be charged with causing a fire through negligence which is a criminal offence – DO NOT take the risk.

Lastly again a reminder on rip currents. The tragic death of a German tourist whilst swimming with a colleague off the unsupervised beach in Sintra yesterday, highlights the dangers of rip tides and currents which can happen all along the Portuguese coastline.

Whilst it has not been confirmed that this was the cause of this tragedy it is prudent to remind people of the dangers that exist around our shores. Agueiros can be fatal and cause death by drowning. The bather must above all not panic, nor try to overcome the current. You should ask for help and swim sideways until you no longer feel the effect of the current. Afterwards, he should try to get out of the water in a place away from this current.

We have an extensive article on our website regarding beach and water safety which you can access here: https://www.safecommunitiesportugal.com/find-information/for-tourists/water-and-beach-safety/

With that please have a Safe Day.


Portugal: President warns of ‘extremely complex, unpredictable’ global situation

Lisbon, June 6, 2022 (Lusa) – Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has warned of the extremely complex and unpredictable international situation, saying that the war in Ukraine has exceeded the limits of reason, generated enormous emotion and requires “enormous” care.

De Sousa was speaking at the close of a debate as part of a book festival staged in the grounds of his palace in Belém, Lisbon, which was moderated by one of his independent advisors, writer Pedro Mexia, with the participation of former Left Bloc member of parliament, José Manuel Pureza, and Diana Soller, a specialist in international politics.

“The international situation is extremely complex, because nobody knows what the epilogue of what we are living through will be; nobody knows what the costs of this epilogue and after the epilogue will be, and nobody knows what the definitive configuration will be in the correlation between the major powers” of the world, said the president in outlining the current global situation.

In an indirect reference to the US and the next presidential elections there, de Sousa said that nobody knows in what direction that country will go – and this “is not indifferent”.

“The position towards the other powers [under Donald Trump] was substantially different from the current position,” he recalled, going on to turn his attention to Ukraine. “There is a problem of correlation of powers here. Europe is the theatre where the whole set of current circumstances is projected, but Europe humbly knows that there are realities that go beyond it, warlike realities.”

On the war, the president expressed his deep concern.

“Emotion has always been in politics, but it was only disciplined substantially or apparently by reason,” he said. “Now, it has overstepped the limits of reason and the most that reason can do is try to condition and curb the excesses of emotion.”

On Ukraine, “there are issues to be dealt with through rationality, but others in a very emotional way,” he argued. “It will be said that with the passage of time, reason increases and reason diminishes, but this is not so linear. It is not linear when faced with dramatic, complex and brutally visible situations.” 


Union announces strike by health workers on July 1

Lisbon, June 7, 2022 (Lusa) – The National Federation of Workers’ Unions in Public and Social Functions (FNSTFPS) announced today that it will call a strike by health workers on July 1st.

The strike, which covers all professionals in the sector with the exception of doctors and nurses, is the first since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic and, according to the coordinator of the Federation, was motivated by old claims that remain unanswered.

“There is a willingness to join the fight because, in fact, they have been waiting for many years to come to fruition and solve their problems”, said Elisabete Gonçalves at a press conference, adding that “after so many pats (during the pandemic), nothing resolves”.

Specifically, the FNSTFPS coordinator talks about problems that affect medical assistants, senior health technicians and senior diagnostic and therapeutic technicians, and that accentuate instability in health services and harm the National Health Service.

“These are situations that may seem diverse and distant, but which as a whole create a demotivation for health workers, which in terms of retaining health workers is of no benefit”, he said.

Elisabete Gonçalves mainly denounces problems related to the careers of these professionals, demanding the replacement of the assistant technician’s career, and also criticizing the change in the career of higher diagnostic technicians that “does not reflect the specificities of these workers”.

“As for senior health technicians, they have been fighting for years for public competition procedures that are not being carried out, which limits the appreciation of these workers”, explained the coordinator.

The strike on 1 July is aimed at all workers in mainland Portugal and the autonomous region of the Azores, being preceded by a strike on 30 June in the autonomous region of Madeira, as it is a public holiday on the following day. 

DGS says children up to 16 with symptoms of acute hepatitis should be seen urgently in hospital

According to the guidance released today by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) on suspected cases of acute hepatitis of unknown ethology in paediatric age, nonspecific manifestations such as abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, with more than a week of evolution and severe prostration may coexist with respiratory symptoms and fever.

In the context of hospital care, in the presence of a child with the clinical manifestations described above and which raise suspicion of hepatitis, laboratory investigation should be initiated with, among other analyses, complete blood count, coagulation study (INR), in the area of ​​biochemistry, indicators such as blood glucose, urea, creatinine, ionogram, total and direct bilirubin should be analysed, as well as blood culture should be performed if fever is present.

Since the information resulting from the ongoing investigation in the countries that reported cases is still limited, with enteric adenoviruses having been indicated as a possible agent involved, the DGS recommends, in the community, the strengthening of protective measures such as hand hygiene (supervision in younger children) and respiratory etiquette, aeration and/or ventilation of interior spaces, frequent cleaning and/or disinfection of surfaces in the presence of cases of acute gastroenteritis or respiratory infection.

In health facilities, contact precautionary measures are recommended for suspected or probable cases in case of respiratory symptoms, “in compliance with the rules established for infection control by the Program for the Prevention and Control of Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance (PPCIRA)”, adds the DGS.

Ukraine: SEF investigates case related to trafficking for work purposes

Lisbon, June 6, 2022 (Lusa) – The Foreigners and Borders Service is investigating a case related to human trafficking for work purposes involving Ukrainian refugees, the deputy national director of SEF, Paulo Batista, told Lusa today.

“SEF is dealing with all the situations that come to its notice, namely complaints and indications from various entities and many situations have arrived, which we analyse quickly. So far, and from everything we have analysed, we have only detected a situation that will eventually be trafficking for work purposes”, said Paulo Batista.

In addition to this case that is being investigated by the SEF, Paulo Batista said that SEF had received from Amnesty International a complaint about a possible situation of human trafficking for work purposes.

“We have received and are processing the information”, he explained, noting that the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) also received this complaint and the SEF will “wait for the MP to define to whom it delegates competence to carry out the investigation”.

Without giving details about Amnesty International’s complaint, the deputy national director of the SEF said that it was allegedly two Ukrainian victims.

Paulo Batista underlined that “a lot of complaints” related to Ukrainian refugees have reached the SEF. “It’s a good thing that people report everything they can see that is part of trafficking. Then we have to analyse and verify whether this is so or not, with diligence on the ground, which is what we are doing,” he said.

The deputy national director of the SEF also stated that in most situations verified by SEF no problem related to human trafficking is detected.

According to the latest update made by the Foreigners and Borders Service, since the beginning of the war, on February 24, Portugal has granted 40,955 temporary protections to Ukrainian citizens, of whom 12,696 were minors.

The largest number of temporary protections granted continues to be in Lisbon (6,973), Cascais (2,597), Porto (1,544), Sintra (1,466) and Albufeira (1,154).

In other words, “there is a great deal of emotion and this emotion requires enormous balances,” he added.