Algarve’s second drive-through testing centre opens at Portimão Arena

The Algarve’s second Covid-19 drive-through testing centre will open this week at the Portimão Arena, Portimão Mayor Isilda Gomes announced in a Facebook live stream on Tuesday night (March 24).

There are 12 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the municipality and the mayor is aware that the number will most likely increase due to the spread of the virus.

“Increasing our ability to carry out more tests is fundamental, which is why the council was able to carry out a logistics operation in less than 24 hours to establish all the conditions needed to open a drive-through testing centre at the Portimão Arena,” she said.

According to the Algarve Biomedical Centre, it will be up and running sometime this week with “duly qualified professionals”.

The centre in Portimão will be the second to open in the Algarve following the opening of one last weekend near Estádio do Algarve (Algarve Stadium), between Faro and Loulé (click here).

Gomes also used the video as a means of thanking Portimão citizens for their “unmatched response” to the council’s plea to stay home.

“They understood what was at stake, and even though they weren’t forced to, they sacrificed for the common good,” the mayor said, adding that everyone – from common citizens to business owners and leaders of local clubs and associations – showed a sense of responsibility and followed recommendations.

Many locals even offered to help the town’s health services by offering their services or making donations.

These kinds of actions were “fundamental to avoid the uncontrollable spread of the virus in the community”, said the mayor.

But the battle is far from over. People still need to stay at home as it is “the only way to prevent further contagion”, the mayor stressed.

“By self-isolating, we are saving lives. No matter how many measures are implemented, they will be totally ineffective if people continue to go out and socialise,” she said.

According to Isilda Gomes, the council is channeling most of its efforts into the town’s “social and health areas” and is also calling on those interested in providing volunteer work to contact the council.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com