Foreigners account for one third of Algarve’s Covid-19 cases

The Algarve’s regional health delegate Ana Cristina Guerreiro said today (June 18) that foreigners account for around one third of the Algarve’s recent Covid-19 cases.

A total of 456 people have tested positive in the region since June 1 – 34% being foreigners. Nearly half of the foreigners who have tested positive are British (46%), with French accounting for 10% and Brazilians for 9%, the health delegate revealed in a press conference to address the region’s current epidemiological situation.

There are boroughs where foreigners account for more than half of cases, such as Albufeira (65%), Aljezur (57%) and Tavira (54%).

The number of cases in the Algarve in the last week has trebled, going from an average of 26 cases per day at the start of the week to 84 since Wednesday, bringing incidence levels up to 117 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The news came on the same day mayors and the Algarve tourism boss called on the government to review how Covid-19 cases are tallied, as popular tourist destinations are being “unfairly penalised” (click here).

Guerreiro agrees, describing the calculation as an “error” as the region’s usual population is “much smaller” than it is now or then it will be in the busy months of July and August.

The health delegate said she has already alerted relevant authorities, having suggested calculating the incidence rate based on the estimated population at that time of year in each borough.

Asked about why she believes cases are rising, Guerreiro said that it may be linked to the reopening of travel on May 17 but could also be explained by the circulation of a “more contagious variant.”

At least three cases of the so-called ‘Delta’ variant have already been detected in the Algarve, with 100 samples having already been sent to the National Institute of Health Ricardo Jorge with results still pending.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com