Foreigners, footballers and religious believers pull Covid-19 numbers up in the Algarve

As revealed by the regional Health delegate at the biweekly press conference to assess the epidemiological situation in the Algarve

Players from football teams in the region, faithful of religious groups and foreign citizens, among migrants, residents and visitors, are pushing up the numbers of Covid-19, in the Algarve, revealed Ana Cristina Guerreiro, the regional Health delegate, at the biweekly press conference to assess the epidemiological situation in the Algarve region.

According to data from the Regional Health Authority, there are 82 new cases of Covid-19 in the region, bringing the total accumulated since the beginning of the pandemic to 3803.

In hospitals, there are now 49 hospitalized people infected with the new coronavirus, 9 of them in intensive care, an increase of one person in both cases.

Also the people who recovered from the disease increased to 2519. Active cases increased, now settling at 1245.

As for deaths, there is no more to regret, keeping the accumulated total in 39.

At this moment, revealed Ana Cristina Guerreiro, «the situation that is giving us the most work and that causes the most concern is the one experienced in football clubs, particularly in the under-23 teams».

In all, there are 31 infected players from four clubs, «most of whom are Internacional de Almancil players», which will be the origin of the outbreak, but also from São Luís (Faro), from Marítimo Olhanense and Fuzeta.

“The problem is that some of these young people, in addition to their connection to clubs, are friends abroad. It is this relationship between them that has taken the cases of Internacional de Almancil to other clubs», revealed the regional Health delegate.

Also inflating the numbers are cases registered between foreigners. And, in this case, there are municipalities that entered the list of municipalities at risk with a high percentage of new cases of citizens from other countries.

The most glaring case is that of Vila do Bispo, where “we estimate that the percentage of cases involving foreigners is around 70%”.

But the percentage of non-nationals in the numbers of those infected in Portimão and Albufeira is also significant, around 30%.

“We recently had some cases at the Alvor Campsite, with 13 people related to this outbreak, most of them foreigners. But they can be more», revealed Ana Cristina Guerreiro.

Moreover, “there are foreigners and foreigners. We have migrants who work in greenhouses and in agriculture, among whom some cases arise, but also those who enjoy the country and who come with motorhomes, stay in campsites or go to hostels».

All these cases "count where they are, which is where they breathe." However, these are people who are not registered in the region, so they do not contribute to the counting of the total population of the municipalities and the region, one of the variables in the criterion used by the Government to decide which municipalities are at risk.

For António Pina, AMAL's president, “this reveals something we've been saying for a long time: the Algarve cannot be seen only by the resident population, but also by the floating population”.

“There are many more people living here who are not in the statistics and are not registered, something that will not happen anywhere else in the country with this dimension. We must be counted as having at least 600 thousand inhabitants», defended the president of the District Civil Protection Commission.

«We are going to present a proposal to the Government and the DGS to introduce a new criterion, to introduce another number in the weighting of cases in the Algarve. Foreigners cannot only count for cases, they must also be counted as population», announced António Pina.

As for cases related to religious confessions, the most worrying are in Portimão/Lagoa and in Faro/Olhão

«There is an outbreak with many people related to the Rocha Eterna religion, in Portimão. There are already 16 cases, in Portimão and Lagoa, but there will probably be more», revealed Ana Cristina Guerreiro.

Another outbreak, this one with “18 associated cases, is related to the Philadelphia Evangelical Church, with cases in Faro and Olhão».

"In both cases, the infections will be related to the practice of worship "in closed spaces, with people, eventually, very close to each other and singing", concluded the regional Health delegate.



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