Photo: JOSÉ GARRANCHO

Portugal’s Rt ‘falls’ along with ‘incidence’ rating – but Germany red-lists Algarve and Azores

On a day when only four people have died with Covid-19 and the active case count has fallen along with Portugal’s Rt number and incidence rating, Germany has announced that it has ‘red-listed travel to the Algarve and Azores’ – meaning any tourists returning from these areas will have to self-isolate for 10 days, irrespective of a negative Covid PCR test.

Germany’s Robert-Koch institute however has said that anyone re-testing negative after five days could be released from quarantine.

This is just ‘another development’ in the daily swings-and-roundabouts of countries’ responses to managing the pandemic.

But on national territory today, the results are promising in that the Rt number has dropped ‘one hundredth of a point’ (which may not sound much but is apparently ‘very significant’ in that it reduces the likelihood of exponential spread) – and incidence has fallen from 69 cases per 100,000 on the mainland (72.4 if the archipelagos are included), to 68 cases per 100,000 (71.6 in Madeira and Azores).

Otherwise, today’s bulletin shows 429 people in hospital (an increase of six in the last 24-hours) and 101 in intensive care (eight less in the last 24-hours).

The highest number of new cases has come from the north (+228), followed by Lisbon (+182), centre (+32), Alentejo (+25) and Algarve (+23).

The four deaths were in Lisbon (2), the north (1) and the centre (1).

Azores and Madeira are showing +38 and +25 new cases respectively.

All this is coming in as reactions from the boroughs ‘caught out’ due to their numbers have started making it into the media.

Portimão’s mayoress Isilda Gomes, for example, is particularly upset bearing in mind the municipality’s ‘solidarity’ when it came to treating patients from Lisbon during the second wave. Indeed, she says she has received “many messages of disgust from Portimão citizens” who “do not understand the decision that Lisbon has taken” impelling businesses that only reopened two weeks ago to close their doors yet again.

“We did everything in our power to respond to the needs of the SNS health service. We were supportive in receiving these people (from Lisbon) and now we are demanding solidarity for Portimão”, she said.

Clearly, Ms Gomes’ protestations will fall on deaf ears – but they do show the level of exhaustion that communities are feeling.

It doesn’t help that every day media outlets scream new warnings: today, for example, Rádio Renascença suggests 29 boroughs are ‘in the red’, with a third of them showing increased incidence levels…

Portugal enters yet another weekend where people are increasingly becoming confused,  frustrated and in the case of so many businesses just plain angry.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com