A child under 16 and her mother, a geography teacher, tested positive for the new coronavirus, the first two cases in the south of the country. The minor was sent on Sunday, March 8, to the Pediatric Hospital Dona Estefânia, in Lisbon, where she is interned and her mother to the Curry Cabral Hospital, also in the capital.
The Manuel Teixeira Gomes Secondary School, where the young woman studies, has been closed and all other students, teachers and staff are in isolation for 14 days. The school where the mother taught geography was also closed on Monday morning.
Other measures taken by the city council and municipal health authorities, decided at this morning’s meeting, which ended minutes ago, go through “Close all sports and cultural facilities under the supervision of the city council to the public, until the last day of March [dia 31]. We are talking about the municipal pool, municipal theater, museum, library, sports pavilion and Portimão Arena ”, confirmed to the Observer source of the city council of Portimão.
The same source explained to the Observer: “there are aspects that have yet to be decided, because some of these municipal facilities do not have direct management by the Chamber, as is the case with the Alvor sports complex, municipal swimming pools and tennis courts”.
The same source also said that these measures were taken following the recommendation of the health delegate of Portimão and in coordination with the city council and that there will be more, referring to a statement that is being prepared and will be released in the coming hours.
The fact that the Portimonense Sporting Clube stadium, a club of the main Football League, is privately managed requires that it be the one to take the measures it deems necessary based on the recommendations given by the municipality. The club can make an assessment against these assumptions and have several hypotheses: ask to postpone games, games behind closed doors or assume the responsibilities and carry out the games in it. In the beginning, the League will always agree with the decisions that the club makes in relation to this matter, whatever they may be, not least because the League is especially sensitive to this issue.
However, it is not foreseen, for now, the closure of more schools in the municipality: “our logic at the moment is: a positive case in a school and that school closes, otherwise, and even indications to the contrary, there will be no more schools closed” .
However, in response to these statements, several guardians of the Escola Secundária Poeta António Aleixo, in Portimão, created a petition to close this school as a precaution. This one petition it is addressed to the Directorate-General for Health and already has 34 signatures.
The Observer knows that several guardians of the schools that remain closed have chosen not to take their children to school this Monday. At 17:00 a meeting is scheduled between the city council and the various schools in the municipality.
This woman is a geography teacher at Escola Básica 2,3 Professor José Buísel and after returning from Italy with her daughter and the rest of the family, where they spent their holidays during the week of Carnival, the Observer knows that this teacher has not gone to teach to the school where you work to have meetings with other teachers.
The Observer also knows that other members of the household are in isolation, altogether another five people, including two twin children and two teachers from other schools in Portimão who were also on the same trip to Italy – this woman’s husband and sister.
The board of the school in question is currently meeting with the municipal health authorities to try to understand with whom this teacher had contact on the days she went to the school to have meetings, the Observer knows.
Both teachers and staff are inside the school waiting for some indication of the procedures to be followed.
The Manuel Teixeira Gomes School Group (AEMTG), the school where the student studies, in a statement published this Sunday, informs the school community that the student was on vacation in Italy during the Carnival period. When she returned, the student called Linha Saúde 24, “Who gave you instructions to monitor your clinical situation and comply with some social and personal hygiene rules, but that you could make your life normal”. Thus, the student returned to school on February 27 “And was monitored daily by the SNS24 team”.
In less than 24 hours it was confirmed that the mother of this minor was also infected with the new coronavirus and is thus the 31st confirmed case in Portugal, the second in the south of the country. The rest of the family is in isolation, showing no symptoms.
In total, there are already about 1800 students without classes in Portimão due to the closure of these two schools.
On March 5, 6 and 7, Portimão Arena received the Start Work, an event dedicated to employment, entrepreneurship, education and vocational training in which several students from practically all schools in the municipality of Portimão participated, including students from the Manuel Teixeira Gomes Secondary School, a 16-year-old school that was diagnosed with the new coronavirus. The Observer knows that this event paid special attention to the various meetings that the municipality had on positive cases of coronavirus in the city and assures the Observer that neither the student nor the teacher nor any other family member in isolation was present at this event dedicated to students .
The Portimão public health delegate appealed to people who were in contact with a secondary school student infected with Covid-19 to adopt “social distance” measures to prevent the spread of the virus. “At least until March 20, the entire school community should monitor any symptoms, adopting hygiene and social distance behaviors”, declared the public health delegate Maria Filomena Agostinho, stressing that whoever had “close contact” with the student “will receive from the services [Linha SNS24] a direct indication ”.
That official, who spoke to journalists after a meeting, this Sunday evening, at the Municipal Center for Civil Protection and Relief Operations in Portimão, stressed that the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) will monitor the situation during the period of closure of the school attended by the student, which runs from Monday.
The meeting, convened in an emergency after confirmation of the case, the first to be reported in the south of the country, brought together Health, Civil Protection authorities, the direction of the Manuel Teixeira Gomes Secondary School and class directors. Asked about the health status of the rest of the student’s family, the Portimão public health delegate said that “they are still waiting for the results [aos testes de despiste do novo coronavírus]”, But that“ they are all well ”.
According to Maria Filomena Agostinho, the class directors were tasked with contacting “those in charge of education to inform them of the closure of the school”, so that they would not be “caught off guard with the gates closed”. Regarding the school break and possible compensations, the responsible person indicated that the Regional Education Directorate will then give its opinion, but underlined that this is an issue to which that organization is “sensitive”, since the “next weeks would be tests and exams ”.