Albufeira's Misericórdia Nursery welcomes only 8 children, but has everything ready to reopen on the 18th

Quinta dos Pardais Children's Center was visited by the Minister of Solidarity and Social Security

The visit of the minister and entourage to the crèche – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

Only 8 of the 147 children who attend the two crèches of the Santa Casa da Misericórdia in Albufeira will return next Monday, the 18th. But everything is prepared, with rigor and safety, to welcome these boys and girls.

The Quinta dos Pardais Children's Center, in Albufeira, owned by the local Santa Casa da Misericórdia, was visited this Wednesday by Ana Mendes Godinho, minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, accompanied by a delegation that included the directors of the Regional Centers of Social Security of the Algarve and Alentejo, the mayor of Albufeira and two councilors, the secretary of state who is responsible for coordinating the application of the state of calamity in the Algarve, mayors, deputies and other officials.

One of the moments of this official visit was the signing of an addendum to the protocol between that Ministry and the Algarve Biomedical Center (ABC), which initially only provided for screening in nursing homes, but now encompasses Covid-19 screening tests in day care centers in Algarve, Baixo Alentejo and Alentejo Litoral.

One of the places where the crèche employees have already been tested is, precisely, Quinta dos Pardais, in Albufeira. Along with the reorganization of services, spaces, external and internal circulation schemes, this was another fundamental step towards its reopening, next Monday.

Minister Ana Mendes Godinho explained that the main objective of the tests "is to isolate the positive cases that exist, so that the reopening of day care centers is done with maximum security and caution, and with the implementation of the necessary prevention measures."

Led by Patrícia Seromenho, provider of Santa Casa da Misericórdia, and its technical director, the delegation learned about what had to be done so that the children could return safely.

«We have not totally eliminated the risk, not even that is possible, but we have reduced it a lot», guaranteed the provider, in a conversation with Minister Ana Mendes Godinho.


Patricia Seromenho – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação

In an interview with Sul Informação, at the end of the visit, Patrícia Seromenho said that the Santa Casa da Misericórdia in Albufeira has two crèches, one in Guia and the other in the city itself.

To find out what they could count on, "we listened to all the parents and, of the total of 147 children we responded to, only eight parents reported that they needed it and were confident to come on the 18th".

As these were «four children from Guia and another four here in Albufeira, we asked for permission and we will only open here», at the Quinta dos Pardais Children's Center. “And we're not going to open up the whole space, just the nursery. So we save physical resources, but also the team», added the provider.

Was it difficult to adapt? Patrícia Seromenho admitted that yes: “it is difficult on two fronts: first, to obtain information about what the requirements were. The information was late and even today [the 13th] there was more guidance. We were already working on the initial guidelines and now they have been changed, we had to adapt and we have already done it».

On the other hand, he added, “it is to adapt an entire plan to structures that are physical, which have their limitations. This reality of ours, which I showed the minister, must be replicated, but it cannot be replicated in all equipment. We will even find it difficult to adapt the Guia crèche, because the structure of the building is different from this one. There are constraints in adapting the regulations to the realities of the territory and of all structures," he added.

One of the adaptations made to the physical space, in accordance with technical guidelines received from the General Directorate of Health, was, for example, reducing the capacity of each room. “There were rooms for 14 children each, now they are prepared to receive a maximum of seven”, said the provider, during the visit to the facilities.

On the alleged difficulties in adapting the DGS rules, the minister Ana Mendes Godinho explained that the guidelines are intended to "that the reopening is done in a safe and calm way, with a great mobilization of all the interveners".

The provider Patrícia Seromenho, for her part, also made a point of stressing the close relationship with both the Municipality of Albufeira and the Regional Social Security Center of the Algarve, whose director, Margarida Flores, also accompanied the visit. «The lady director meets with us every week. It may seem basic, but I've been talking to providers in other regions and that doesn't happen there. Here we have this very close relationship, which has given excellent results».

He also added that these last days before the reopening are being used to provide training "transposing everything that is in technical guidance" to the staff of the nursery, so that, on the 18th, everything is ready to welcome the eight children, at Quinta dos Pardais, in Albufeira.


The minister visiting the day care center – Photo: Elisabete Rodrigues | Sul Informação


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