The chairman of the ARS / Algave board of directors, Paulo Morgado, told Lusa that “there is no danger of the Algarve closing, the Alentejo closing or the country closing” because what is happening “at this moment is the appearance of small outbreaks here and there”, which can happen anywhere in the “national territory” or in other countries.

The Order of Doctors defended on 18 June the need to intensify an awareness campaign for the security rules against the covid-19 in the Algarve, pointing out that an eventual sanitary fence is the guardianship decision, but listening to the mayors.

The president of the Regional Council of the South of the Portuguese Medical Association, Alexandre Valentim Lourenço, also defended, in an interview with Diário de Notícias, more stringent measures for the Algarve area, saying that if there is an outbreak of 100 cases in Faro or Portimão we had to “close the Algarve”.

“These are alarmist statements. At the moment, the situation of the pandemic and the epidemic in Portugal is not completely controlled, it is true, but we are in a downward phase of the curve. We may have a second wave, like other countries where the disease exists, but whether this wave is going to be bigger or smaller, nobody knows and nobody is able to predict it”, said the president of ARS.

Paulo Morgado assured that “the Algarve has the capacity to respond”, as “it had for the first wave” of the pandemic, when “it was never close to running out of installed capacity” to treat patients infected with the new coronavirus.

“We have the capacity to have around 250 covid patients admitted to our hospitals and the maximum we had was a tenth of that, in terms of inpatient capacity”, he exemplified, considering that, “in an outbreak of 100 people, maybe only 10 are who need internment”.

Paulo Morgado assured that, “for now, there is no outbreak of 100 people” and “it is far” from these figures, accusing the Ordem dos Médicos do Sul of taking a “position that is alarmist and has no adherence to reality”.

“Any outbreak, even one of 100 people, which would already have some meaning, would not generate 100 hospitalisations, the overwhelming majority of these people would stay at home in isolation from contacts, followed up by the family doctor. At the moment, in the region we have zero patients with covid-19 in intensive care and we have only six inpatients. And the patients we have hospitalised are not even seriously ill,” he argued.

Paulo Morgado said that the case of the existing outbreak in Lagos “is and will be controlled”, because a testing action is underway that has already allowed “more than 500 tests” of diagnosis to be made to people who were at the party or to contacts nearby, especially in the municipalities of Lagos and Portimão, “where most of the cases related to this outbreak reside”.

“The percentage of positives is low and we are sure that we will be able to control the situation with the strategy that is underway. Our capacities are more than sufficient to respond to this situation”, said the president of ARS, without specifying the exact number of infected people already detected related to the Lagos outbreak.

According to information released on Wednesday, 17 June, by the municipality about that outbreak of infection, related to an illegal party held on 7 June in the ballroom of the sports club in Odiáxere, the number of infected people rose to 37.