34% of the cases of Covid-19 detected in the Algarve, between the 1st and 15th of June, were in foreigners, and there are municipalities where this number is above 50%, such as Albufeira and Aljezur. The numbers were revealed this Friday by Ana Cristina Guerreiro, regional health delegate, at the press conference for an epidemiological update of the District Commission for Civil Protection.
In the data released today, explained the official, the only criterion taken into account was nationality, which means that no distinction was made between the reason for their presence in the Algarve, that is, they can be resident foreigners as well as tourists.
Ana Cristina Guerreiro added that the nationality most represented among the positive cases is the United Kingdom, which represents 46% of cases among foreigners, followed by France, with 10%, and Brazil, with 9%.
By municipalities, Albufeira is where the weight of infections in foreign citizens is higher: 65%. In Aljezur, the percentage is 57% and in Tavira 54%.
Of the total number of cases among foreigners, 42% of cases were detected in Albufeira, 17% in Loulé and 11% in Faro.
According to this official, most cases detected in this population are higher in the age group between 20 and 29 years old, followed by the age group between 10 and 19 years old, that is, they are mostly young.
“Many of these people are on vacation and, eventually, they have moments of interaction that are more conducive to the spread of the virus. This higher incidence rate will be related to these behaviors», he explained.
Even so, Jorge Botelho, secretary of State coordinating the fight against Covid-19, does not blame tourists exclusively for the increase in the number of cases in the Algarve, not least because «all foreigners arriving by plane came with a negative PCR test».
“The numbers in the region have been growing due to a combination of factors, which were the result of the opening of society” and also of “some fatigue”.
For this reason, considers the governor, “we cannot only find responsibilities in others, but also in ourselves. The communities that visit us, when they are here, are from the Algarve».
Botelho also guaranteed that “we are going to continue with the open region. Nobody wants to make borders».
Without borders, but with a 'great filter' called Airport of Faro. Because, explains the Secretary of State, this is what infrastructure has become: "in some cases, people took tests when boarding for the return trip and ended up being trapped in the region."
The influence on the incidence rate of Covid-19 of the foreign population, which counts for the number of cases, but does not count for the total number of inhabitants, was also addressed by Jorge Botelho who, guaranteed, «is a reported situation», « identified' and whose amendment 'is on the table'.
Until this change happens, councils such as Albufeira and Loulé – that they have even retreated into distrust – will be harmed and also the regional health authorities do not agree with the criteria.
“I've already alerted all the higher structures. This calculation of the number of cases over the resident population is an error. The usual resident population is much smaller than what we have now and what we will have in July and August», defended Ana Cristina Guerreiro.
António Pina, president of AMAL, for his part, recalled that «in Loulé and Albufeira, at this time of year, there are twice as many people. It is normal to count new cases, we cannot hide them. But not counting the population that is actually present is that it cannot continue to be”, he sentenced.