State of Public Calamity declared in Ovar

The government is preparing to declare a State of Public Calamity, “specifically for the municipality of Ovar”, writes Jornal de Notícias this afternoon.

The day before President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is set to decide on whether or not to announce a State of national Emergency, PS leaders have opted to up-the-ante in Ovar by putting the entire Aveiro district borough in lockdown.

Says the paper, cases confirmed with the new coronavirus Covid-19 have doubled in 24 hours. “There are entire families affected”.

The situation has been building to the point that the council closed all its municipal services last Friday, warning locals to “cancel what you can and try to stay at home”.

Said Mayor Salvador Malheiro today seven new cases – all involving health professionals – imply the virus could have spread by now to “a huge number of people”.

“These aren’t just seven cases, they are health professionals who have been in contact with many people in the last few days”, he explained.

It is unclear how, or if, testing of all those who came into contact with the seven infected healthcare workers will now get underway.

Earlier today, in one of the regular press briefings, it was explained that DGS health authorities are looking into the logistics of treating certain infected patients in their own homes.

For now, the situation of ‘geographical quarantine’ is set to stay in place until April 4.

In a new press briefing this evening, health minister Marta Temido explained the lockdown was designed to limit what could have become a new ‘chain of transmission’ or ‘community transmission’, which is the danger that authorities have been attempting to stem from the outset.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com