Safety from Covid-19 at A&E department in Portimão

Dear Editor,

I have wondered who I should inform about this and was introduced to your lovely website where I saw the opportunity to share this information.

I had to visit the A&E department in Portimão on Monday and was astounded to find that there is not one hand sanitiser anywhere. No self-distancing. All types of sick people sat on top of each other and sharing the same food and drinks machine, then eating with their masks down having touched the machine.

When I arrived, I was sent to register in the main reception where everyone else had queued and touched the counter, then sent to a tent immediately next to a Covid-19 tent. I registered what type of complaint I had, they took my temperature, gave me a wristband and sent me back to the waiting room with approximately 50 other people crammed like sardines.

No hand sanitiser and a room of sick people!

We shared seats which were never wiped and one toilet, again without hand sanitiser. I was very uneasy.

If this is the example set by the institution at the top of the prevention of spread of infection, then how are others to act?

It is this very open non-compliance of sensible rules, I believe, that has prevented Portugal from being included in the (“safe travel”) ‘corridor’ and should be investigated, not for the tourist but for the old, frail people who were sat, with their masks on and their fingers crossed, along with me and the hundreds of others passing through every day – that’s all you can do when you go to A&E in Portimão.

I hope that I do not become sick as I am vulnerable, as were most of the others sat there, but at least I will know where it came from.

Thanks for listening.
Angela Smith