Portimão, Olhão and Tavira health centres open dedicated coronavirus areas

Three dedicated areas to help contain and treat potential Covid-19 patients have been set up at the Portimão, Olhão and Tavira health centres, the Algarve’s regional health administration (ARS Algarve) has announced.

These areas are aimed only at patients who are believed to be infected with the virus and will be manned by medical teams including one doctor, one nurse, an “operational assistant”, an administrative worker and cleaning staff.

They include an observation room, reception area, waiting room and sanitary facilities, and are located in a “completely separate area” from the health centre’s normal facilities.

For now, the Covid-19 dedicated areas will be open on weekdays from 8am to 8pm although ARS says the schedule could be extended if needed.

ARS is also planning to open other special areas for potential coronavirus patients at other health centres in the Algarve next week.

The Algarve’s two biggest public hospitals – Faro and Portimão – already have two Covid-19 areas located near their A&E departments.

Also in the works is a network of 13 testing centres which will be set up across the region (testing centres already in place are located in Faro-Loulé, Portimão and Lagoa-Silves).

ARS also says that the Algarve’s four basic emergency units in Lagos, Loulé, Albufeira and Vila Real de Santo António are open exclusively to patients who are not infected with the coronavirus in order to “guarantee the needed access, safe treatment and health care to the whole population”.

People who show signs of infection – respiratory issues or fever – should contact the national health hotline Linha SNS24 (808 24 24 24) which will advise them on what to do.

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com