Portimão field hospital to stay open until “at least end of summer”

Portimão’s field hospital set up at the Pavilhão Arena will remain fully operational “until at least the end of this summer” as a “preventive measure” at a time when the country slowly emerges from lockdown.

The news was confirmed by Portimão Mayor Isilda Gomes to Secretary of State José Apolinário, who coordinates the Algarve’s fight against Covid-19. He visited the unit as well as the drive-through testing centre set up outside on Sunday, May 10.

The field hospital features 100 beds spread across individual rooms (30 beds), shared rooms (64 beds) and a critical care unit (six beds). Medical equipment for health workers to monitor, diagnose and treat patients is also at their disposal.

The temporary medical unit was set up in April by the local council with the help of the Algarve Biomedical Centre, the Portimão Humanitarian Association of Volunteer Firefighters, the Portuguese Red Cross and the HPA private health group.

In a statement to the press, the council says the medical equipment was purchased especially for the field hospital and that when it is dismantled, it will be safely stored in “containers” to be used again should it become necessary.

“We have to ensure the best response to the worst scenarios,” mayor Isilda Gomes said, adding that the field hospital has given Portimão more resources to treat Covid-19 patients and better preparedness for health emergencies.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com