Here is your weekly news overview…
Four British airports have flights departing to the Algarve. With the announcement of the resumption of flights from the United Kingdom, online bookings skyrocketed between 30 and 40%.
This Monday, Portugal will receive tourists from countries with a low incidence of Covid-19. Everyone is required to pass a negative test on arrival, whether by plane or boat.
With five and a half thousand British tourists arriving this Monday in the Algarve, on the first day of the resumption of non-essential flights with the United Kingdom, the region begins to breathe with relief.
Even so, businessmen are unanimous in criticisng the restriction of opening hours, arguing that closing the establishments at 10:30 pm does not make sense.
Tourists will be welcomed by the Algarve Tourism Association with a welcome kit.
It will hardly be a summer like 2019, but with the possibility of receiving British tourists again, the scenario in the Algarve is much more encouraging than last year.
The British Government had already given the green light for the British to travel to Portugal, but the Portuguese government's favorable decision came early Friday afternoon. The delay in the response had little impact on the reservations that had already been made.
The preference is for the summer months, but the demand for the Algarve in May has been greater than expected.
"Since they are faced with the impossibility of being able to travel to more direct competing destinations, such as Spain, Turkey, Greece, etc., they will tend to choose to come to the region", said Elidérico Viegas, President of the Association of Hotels and Tourist Enterprises of the Algarve.
Now that the groundworks are prepared, the first brick to be laid at the Sudoeste Retail Park will be celebrated this Wednesday in Alcantarilha, at launching ceremony.
Work3, an Architecture and Engineering company based in Monção, Viana do Castelo, is responsible for preparing the project for the future retail park in Alcantarilha, Silves. The construction is now being carried out by Telhabel Construções SA.
Commercial space represents a global investment of 25 million euros and will create 120 jobs in the works phase and 500 jobs when in operation. Sudoeste Retail Park will be located next to the EN125 and Via do Infante (A22), at junction 7. It represents a global investment of 25 million euros and is expected to create 120 jobs (80 direct and 40 indirect) in the construction phase, and 500 jobs when it is in operation.
The project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2022.
Sudoeste Retail Park is a commercial complex, composed of 6 independent units around a central distribution square, with a total construction area of 14,523 m 2 .
At the entrance will be the main building and the fuel station, then a central square and the buildings that surround the main building.
The main building stands out for its size, not only in length, but in height, being about 2 metres higher than the other buildings. This architectural feature will be a striking feature, "mimicking the rhythm of the roofs of traditional housing settlements," helping he new building 'fit in' with its surroundings.
The accesses vary according to the positioning of the stores, but all face East , while the accesses to all services and for delivery and loading and unloading will be to the south and west, where there is a circulation space for heavy vehicles.
"The “V” shape with a slight twist to the north directs users to the main square, drawing them to a concave and protected area from the surroundings next to the EN 125, where they can find the building intended for small dining spaces".
"In the building for catering services, where you can rest and enjoy the wooded and architecturally attractive surroundings, there are also services in common use such as sanitary facilities."
Work3, a project, inspection and consultancy company with specialised staff in the areas of Architecture and Engineering, is based in Monção, in Viana do Castelo. It also has offices in Porto (Edifício Brasília) and soon in Lisbon.
It is from the north of Portugal that Work3 develops projects, supervises projects and offers technical consultancy in several areas, namely: urban, residential, logistics, industry, oil and gas, hospitality, catering, retail parks, etc. in Portugal, but also for Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau.
One hundred percent Portuguese and with a team mostly made up of women, Work3 stands out for its proactivity, agility and ability to customise each project to the client's needs . The objective is to provide the best solutions, in a transparent way, respecting deadlines and ensuring the best quality of service. The goal is to promote growth and establish the brand globally as an obvious partner for customers.
The suspect is said to have shot three rounds from a firearm, shooting his 41-year-old wife in the head.
As explained by the PJ in a statement, "the crime took place this Monday, around 8:00 pm in the middle of the public road, in the city of Portimão".
The Judiciary Police, in collaboration with the Portimão PSP, arrested the 68-year-old man on suspicion of having committed a felony of attempted qualified homicide.
The Association of Hospitality of Portugal (AHP) have received confirmation that the Task Force for the Vaccination Plan against Covid-19 have accelerated the rate of vaccinations in the Algarve region.
"It is with great expectation that we received recognition for our proposal to speed up the vaccination of residents and tourism professionals in the Algarve region, the main national tourist destination. In addition, its relevance at the moment when it is already possible to carry out tourist trips from some markets, including the British, vital for tourism in the Algarve", says Raul Martins, president of AHP.
The purpose of the AHP proposal, presented on May 13th, is to guarantee a quick resumption of tourism activity and maintenance of companies and jobs in a region very dependent on tourism activity.
"We are in a crucial phase for tourism, with the opening of the airspace to some destinations and with the approach of summer, and it is important to transmit confidence both to the Portuguese population and to those who visit us. With the reinforcement of vaccination in the Algarve region, we will become a strong competitor when it comes to choice of holiday destination ", concludes Raul Martins.
According to Eurostat data released in April, the Algarve was the Portuguese region that registered the highest unemployment rate in 2020, reaching 8.4%, followed by Madeira and the Lisbon Metropolitan Area.
Also the Observatory of Inequalities, which recently published the study "Unemployment in 2020 - Impacts of the Pandemic, Mappings and Reflections", indicates that the Algarve is the region of the country where the pandemic is having a disproportionate impact, largely explained by the fact the region is highly dependent on tourism, with particular emphasis on the municipality of Albufeira.
A patient with pancreatic cancer, classified as inoperable and already referred for palliative care, was "rescued" by Hospital de São João, in Porto, and has undergone a "potentially curative" surgery.
“The patient will now be monitored, but he has already entered the field of possibilities for healing. When he arrived at our hospital, he was in the field of palliative treatment. Now he is on his way home to the Algarve” where he comes from , said Humberto Cristino, a surgeon at the Hepatobilio-Pancreático Cancer Reference Centre at the Centro Hospitalar Universitário de São João (CHUSJ).
According to the surgeon, "locally advanced pancreatic tumours with involvement of the celiac trunk are often considered inoperable".
However, "currently and involving a multidisciplinary approach to pancreatic resection surgery, with complete removal of the tumour, it is the only potentially curative treatment of pancreatic tumours", said Humberto Cristino.
This intervention, “known as the Appleby procedure, or distal pancreatectomy with resection of the celiac trunk, has been increasingly performed in selected centres of excellence, such as the São João Hospital, one of the only hospitals in Portugal to perform it ”, explained the doctor.
This “highly complex” surgical technique of resection is not new, it was developed for cases of digestive cancer and, later, adapted by the Japanese to pancreatic cancer.
It was later replicated by other countries, including Portugal, and represents new hope for patients classified as inoperable.
“Pancreatic cancer is still a very thankless disease today and there are no other forms of treatment, other than surgery. This technique that has now arrived in Portugal allows the treatment of patients considered inoperable and undergoing chemotherapy. In this particular case, we know that biologically it is a favourable tumour and we believe that this patient will still have some good years to come ”, he stressed.
However, although this procedure, carried out in reference centres, allows those already referred for palliative care to be given hope, the specialist believes that "the future treatment of this tumour will not be what the world currently does".
“For example, Hepatitis C had a very high mortality rate and is now treatable in 98% of cases. Pancreatic tumours, 20 years ago, had a 5% survival rate and today they still have a 5% survival rate, which means that this is not always the way, but this is still the only hope ”, he said.
Pancreatic tumour surgery has varying degrees of complexity and, according to this complexity, not all hospitals are qualified to perform it.
It is for this reason that this surgeon at CHUSJ calls for patients with this pathology considered inoperable to be referred to referral centers.
"With this technique, this was the first case, but we have been doing procedures on patients who have been rejected in other institutions, with good results", he maintained.
Therefore, he argues that hospitals "should not own their patients", they should refer them to institutions that have the capacity to offer the most advanced treatment available to them.
“A second opinion is very important, if the hospital considers that the case is closed and there are no more possibilities, the patient has the right to go to another specialist”, because, “it often happens that a patient is treated with palliative care it ends up cured ”, said the surgeon.
Of the patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, only 15% or 20% are operable, that is, there is “a huge range of patients who do not have a surgical option”.
Of the non-operable ones, only 20 to 30% of the cases will undergo other treatments, such as chemotherapy. It is these patients who must seek a referral centre to hear a second opinion and, eventually, undergo Appleby's procedure.
Albufeira, Lagoa, Tavira and Vila do Bispo are on alert. The country is "clearly in the green zone", but the minister warns that the Rt that has been oscillating and that is now above 1 - it is "a warning sign."
Yesterday, Mariana Vieira da Silva presented the new map of the country in relation to the pandemic, which is now "at a level of growth", compared to last week.
The Minister of State and the Presidency began to report an increase in the R (t), which is already above 1, which “means that the country has entered a pandemic growth level”, and that it should be “a warning sign” for everyone.
"The advantage of this risk matrix is that all [the Portuguese] can follow the evolution of the country and, today with an R greater than 1, it is time to look at the risk of increased transmission and take precautionary measures", Vieira da Silva pointed out.
Even so, Portugal clearly maintains “the green level” position in the risk matrix, with a “positive”, “controlled” situation, thanks to a low incidence. Of the 118 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants reported at the beginning of the denfinement period, the country is now showing less than 50 cases per 100 thousand inhabitants. In short, we are in the green zone, but be alert, especially in certain areas of the country.
At the moment, the vast majority of municipalities (274) are at the maximum level of deconfinement, started on May 1st.
On alert, there are now 10 municipalities, of which five return to a list where they had already previsouly been, and another five remain where they were last week.
Vieira da Silva also reports on four counties that are limited to the set of rules that the country had on April 19th. They are Arganil, Montalegre, Lamego and Odemira.
In a state of alert there are 10 counties:
The Government is not yet able to anticipate when there will be a meeting of experts at Infarmed again. What is certain is that, “we must live with a fair balance between caution and a sense of whether the pandemic is under control or not”. Vieira da Silva explains that, “with such low incidence levels, it is normal for R to exceed 1 and then retreat”. But the alert remains. “Therefore, we are not able to estimate what the next week will be like”, and “we need to monitor the situation carefully”.
Despite retreat, good news from ODEMIRA
The minister wanted to give a special note about Odemira, which is positive, despite the need to retreat in to confinement. The municipality is still above 140 cases per thousand inhabitants in the last 14 days (there have been 287), but the situation "is significantly better."
Have recent Sporting celebrations increased cases in Lisbon?
The number of cases in Lisbon and the Tagus Valley (LVT) continues to rise, but the minister is unable to link this fact to the celebrations of the title of Sporting's national football champion. “Searching for causes with so many variables (...) and so little time (...) . I am not able to draw such conclusions, ” replied Mariana Vieira da Silva, when asked about the topic. The minister stated that “we were already seeing a growth in R” before Sporting won the title.
More news next week!
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