António Pina is also president of AMAL, the association of Algarve municipalities

“Foreign residents should be taken into account” – Algarve boroughs slam formula that calculates Covid-19 risk

The president of the Algarve Municipalities Association (AMAL) has slammed the formula that determines whether a municipality is considered a Covid-19 hot spot.

According to António Pina, authorities have not taken into account around 150,000 foreigners who live in the Algarve but are not registered as full-time residents.

“The Algarve should be seen as a region with a population of 600,000 and not 450,000,” he said at a press conference at the Algarve’s Civil Protection District Centre in Loulé.

Pina, who is also mayor of Olhão, believes that some of the region’s eight municipalities (Vila Real de Santo António, Tavira, São Brás de Alportel, Faro, Albufeira, Portimão, Lagos and Vila do Bispo) would not have been added to the country’s ‘high-risk’ list on Thursday if the region’s ‘real population’ was taken into account.

The municipality association chief will be presenting his case to the national health board (DGS) and the government, he added.

The Algarve’s regional health delegate agrees and said some criteria are “questionable” and “can be improved” upon.

“There may be a refinement of the calculations in future situations,” said Ana Cristina Guerreiro.

This misconception of the Algarve’s real population does not only relate to Covid-19, according to Pina.

“The region has been negatively affected for years and in many aspects, including community funding,” he said.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com