Speaking to Lusa News Agency, the president of the municipality, Francisco Amaral, called for the participation of the entire population, in a voluntary and free procedure, which aims to "detect cases as quickly as possible" to isolate infected people and "avoid outbreaks" in a municipality which is still at a low level of risk.
“We were at zero for a long time and yesterday [Wednesday] half a dozen cases started to appear here in Altura. The center of the Algarve and the windward are out of control, as we were waiting for them to happen. Now it has arrived here and, as such, we decided to carry out mass testing on Saturday and Sunday”, said the mayor.
Francisco Amaral said that the testing would start in Altura, in the most touristic and central area of the Algarve beach resort, with the support of technicians and health professionals who volunteered for the purpose.
“We have the idea that this new variant [of the SARS-CoV-2 virus] is very contagious and this is getting out of hand in the Algarve, which is one of the worst regions in the country, so it's a good idea to test and stop outbreaks to control the situation, because there is no other way to do things”, he argued.
Francisco Amaral also said that these new cases detected in the municipality even led to the closing of a supermarket in Altura, in the district of Faro, after detecting infections among employees.
For the mayor, only testing can prevent further spread of the virus and guarantee that the main economic activity in the region, tourism and catering, "which have complied with sanitary measures", does not have a second year without business, because "it would not recover”.