"We are seeing a large number of people infected and, therefore, we intend to carry out mass testing to detect asymptomatic cases and prevent the spread of the disease", said Mayor Isilda Gomes (PS) to Lusa News Agency.

According to the president of the council, the decision was based on "the considerable number of positive cases" recorded in the last few days, mainly in professional sectors such as civil construction.

"The construction sector is the most problematic sector that we have at the moment and that is why we made this decision to proceed with massive testing of the population, through rapid tests", she said, stressing that the tests are free and are not mandatory .

Isilda Gomes said that, since Saturday, all people linked to civil construction in the municipality “are being tested, in a joint action between the Authority for Conditions at Work, the Local Health Authority and the Municipal Civil Protection”.

“Since the outbreak has multiplied in the face of events of a social nature, the public health support team is working around the clock to closely monitor contacts from positive cases, putting everyone in isolation early, in order to break the chains of transmission ”, she said.

Isilda Gomes indicated that, in a first phase, the municipality acquired 500 antigen tests to carry out epidemiological screening, a number that "may increase as needed".

"Certainly, tests will not be carried out on the approximately 55,000 inhabitants of the municipality, not least because many of them have already been infected and others have been vaccinated, but our intention is to provide rapid tests to anyone who wants to do one," she said.

The mayor recalled that the antigen test is not mandatory and is available to anyone who wants to do it, “for your safety and that of others, in a community health security process”.

“The main objective is to stop the evolution of the pandemic in the municipality and in the community”, she stressed.

According to the municipality, screening is being carried out at the 'drive thru' testing station installed next to the Portimão Arena.

Residents in the municipality of Portimão who wish to undergo free screening can register by filling in the form available at https://www.cognitoforms.com or by contacting the line “Protection 24” through the number 808 282 112.