“The presence of the United Kingdom variant at national level represents 82.9 percent and, in the Algarve, it represents 94 percent, which may also explain some of the situations here in the region”, said the Regional Health delegate, Ana Cristina Guerreiro, in a Press conference.
Currently, the most affected municipalities in the Algarve are those of Portimão, which has an incidence rate of 362 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in the last 14 days, and Albufeira, with 241 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants in the same period, followed by Lagoa, Olhão and Faro.
In Portimão, where in the last few weeks more than 5,000 tests have been carried out as part of a mass testing operation, the “large number of cases” is justified by an outbreak in the civil construction sector, which has led to 153 cases so far , and another related to a bakery, with 62 confirmed cases, she indicated.
The President of the Regional Health Administration (ARS) of the Algarve also attributed the situation in the Algarve to the British variant, as this translates into a “higher infection rate”, which means that “a primary case gives rise to many secondary cases and tertiary”.
“It is, in a way, almost like a new disease compared to what we were used to in the previous months. It is still difficult to say whether it reaches younger age groups, but we are seeing that we have younger patients”, noted Paulo Morgado, noting, however, that there is a" regression trend "of contagions in the region.
Asked by journalists about the possibility that the British variant is related to a higher incidence of the virus among younger people, in view of the increase in infections among children, Ana Cristina Guerreiro admitted that “it is not easy” to establish this relationship and that the variant “still is under study ”.
According to the official, the transmissibility index (Rt) in the region, despite remaining above the national average, which is equivalent to 1.02, is “decelerating”, currently standing at 1.05, after peaking recently at an Rt of 1.19.