The President of the National Association of Public Health Physicians, Ricardo Mexia, defended this Friday that the decontamination plan should “omit” the dates on which the sectors will be opened, indicating that progress should indicate the evolution of the pandemic.
The government announced on Thursday the deflation measures, which will come into effect between March 15 and May 3 and will be gradually assessed every two weeks according to the risk assessment of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We already expected the fact that it is gradual and that is important” as well as “to make this development dependent on the epidemiological development,” said Ricardo Mexia in a comment to the Lusa agency on the presented plan.
But, he said, “maybe it wouldn’t be worse to leave out the data and to index this progress, which appears to be fortnightly as it seems programmed, to the development or maintenance of the indicators in positive territory”.
Ricardo Mexia highlighted the fact that the plan also provides “a simplified method for carrying out the risk assessment”. However, he warned: “We don’t know if we can move that fast, that is, this bi-weekly fashion, depending on how the numbers turn out.”
The public health doctor also pointed out another aspect that could be useful, namely “to consider whether these approaches are purely national or whether they may have a component, for example regional”, since “the pandemic in Portugal is in different regions had different speeds ”. .
Ricardo Mexia also felt it was important to reiterate that the overall plan depends on a response strategy that includes “greater testing capacity” and expanding that capacity.
“Nothing changes with regard to the use of the mask or the distance from the airway label for hand hygiene,” emphasized the President of the Association of Public Health Doctors.
Additionally, the “role of the vaccine” also needs to be highlighted, as by increasing the vaccination rate, the country will likely be able to reduce the risks to people who get sick and the spread of the disease itself, it said.
Ricardo Mexia recalled that “group immunity depends on two factors,” those who are vaccinated, but also the number of people who have already developed the disease.
The announced reopening measures will be reviewed as soon as Portugal exceeds the “120 new cases” [de infecção] per day per 100,000 inhabitants for 14 days ”or if the transferability index (Rt) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus exceeds 1.
The decontamination plan was presented on the day the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, decreed for the 13th time to extend the state of emergency for a further 15 days to March 31 to allow for measures to contain Covid -19.
The Covid-19 pandemic has already killed 16,650 of the 813,152 confirmed cases of infection in Portugal, according to the Directorate-General for Health.