In a note sent to the press, the Social Democrat deputies state that "the Government has established that foreign tourists in the Algarve who register a positive covid-19 test are counted for the purpose of applying measures to combat the pandemic as residents."
“However, as these visitors are not added to the residents, the numbers of covid-19 in the Algarve per 100,000 inhabitants are being statistically inflated. This fact, which had already been implied in the statements of the prime minister last week, has now been confirmed by diligence with local and regional health authorities”, they maintain.
The deputies elected in the Algarve, Cristóvão Norte, Rui Cristina and Ofélia Ramos, consider that “this decision may mean that more restrictive measures are applied to the region without any reason, so it is an unreasonable decision, without any basis and it could prove to be very damaging for the region that has suffered greater economic and social destruction during the course of the pandemic”.
In this context, the deputies call on the Government to "urgently revise the adopted criterion" proposing that, if the executive understands "that these cases must be registered in the region where they are detected, then, to preserve the rigor of the analysis, the foreign floating population – tourists – necessarily have to count for the purposes of calculating the total number of residents”.
In the note, two practical examples are presented: a region with 450,000 inhabitants, with 1200 cases in 14 days, would result in a total of 266 cases per 100,000 inhabitants; a region with 700 thousand inhabitants “(residents + foreigners on vacation)”, which registered the same number of cases in 14 days, would account for 171 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants.
“In the second case, there would be no place for restrictive measures, in the first case it would mean a retreat back to lockdown. The situation in the region would be objectively the same in both cases”, they argue.
The deputies also say that they have obtained information that "contrary to what the prime minister said, there are positive cases of national non-residents that are being registered in the region, which produces exactly the same bulging effect described above" , adding that they will deliver a request asking the Government for clarification on the matter.
“It is up to the Government, to correct this error, which can have serious consequences. Not doing so can lead to an absurd result”, they conclude.