Covid-19 harvest center is ready to open at Portimão Arena…but ARS Algarve has not yet given permission

A similar center has been open since Monday next to the Algarve Stadium and at a good pace

The tents have been set up for three days now and everything necessary was taken care of for the Algarve to have one more structure testing Covid-19. There is no green light from the Algarve Regional Health Administration (ARS) for the screening center drive-thru installed in Portimão Arena starts working.

Despite the investment and effort made by the Chamber of Portimão, which ensured all the logistics, and by the Algarve Biomedical Center (ABC), which operated the screening center - to similar to what he did in what is already in operation at the Estádio Algarve - Paulo Morgado, president of ARS Algarve, has not yet given the necessary authorization for the operation to start and it is not even certain that he will.

“As far as I know, no decision has yet been made. We still don't have the authorization to open, the ARS will decide what will be done. For our part, we operationalize: we prepare, we set things up and we are prepared for the opening. At the moment, we are just finalizing details», he told the Sul Informação Nuno Marques, director of ABC.

“I don't know when it will open. The decision on whether or not it is open is exclusively up to the president of the ARS, who is the one who coordinates the sector here in the Algarve», added the same person in charge.

However, the ARS announced that a network of 13 Covid-19 Harvesting Stations, distributed by the Algarve, and which will serve to carry out the tests prescribed in the ADC-Community/Health Centers and through the SNS24 line, in conjunction with private laboratories in the region.

With the inclusion of these private agents in the screening network, due to the entry into the mitigation phase of the Covid-19 epidemic, the entry into operation of the screening center created in Portimão may be at stake.

Isilda Gomes, mayor of Portimo, expressed, in statements to our newspaper, her "strangeness" at the fact that the collection center that was installed in her municipality is not yet functioning. “We responded immediately to what the director of ABC asked us to do. We installed the tents, prepared everything from a logistical point of view. And now for two or three days we have been waiting for authorization from the President of the ARS…»

The mayor was also surprised that, apparently, the ARS Algarve «prefers that people do the tests at the Health Centre, where a lot of people gather, instead of these tests being done at this harvest center, where people would arrive by car, without needing to leave it, thus reducing, for everyone, the possibility of contagion».


The two tents at the harvest center installed next to the Algarve Stadium


This impasse in Portimão has nothing to do with the screening center that has been in operation since Monday at Estádio Algarve (Faro/loulé), he was also energized by ABC, an experience that «has gone very well», assured Nuno Marques.

“Only yesterday, close to a hundred tests were carried out. What does this mean? There are 19 fewer people in hospital emergency rooms with symptoms of Covid-XNUMX. We gradually increased the number of harvests throughout the week. But I can tell you that all the requests that were made to us were collected either on the same day, or the very next day, depending on the time the request reached us», revealed the director of the Algarve Biomedical Center.

Nuno Marques assured, on the other hand, that, «until this date, there were no failures that forced us to suspend, at any time, our activity. We have a reserve of material that allows us to function and we are getting more daily».

"As far as I know, the Algarve has not been, at any time, without the necessary material, nor about to have to suspend its activity", he added.

“Right now, we are operating at a quarter of our full capacity. We can go beyond four hundred tests a day. But our capacity and the way we organize ourselves will always depend on the number of orders,” he explained.

The center could, for example, start working at night, something that until now was considered unnecessary, as the recipients of this equipment "are people who can be at home", so they can also wait for the next day, if necessary.

“It doesn't make sense to make them go there at dawn. We are not talking about people who have symptoms that indicate they need a hospital stay. We are talking about mild symptoms», he says.

The director of ABC takes the opportunity to leave an appeal: “It's not worth it for people to come directly here. We contact people to schedule an hour, so that they are not there in that inconvenience, as we have seen in some places, where they are in lines, inside the cars. There is an appointment and we have the capacity to harvest in less than five minutes».





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