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21.6.2020

Covid – give us a break

We officially have two persons in quarantine with the disease; the island cannot yet be declared Covid-free. But I wonder if our Government would ever do this. The population has been scared thoroughly into following regulations that are, at this time, obviously superfluous. Although it is technically impossible for anybody walking the streets to catch the disease, the endless nudging of social distancing, mask wearing etc goes on. Maybe the government doesn’t want to stop the warnings because some tourist will likely bring Covid in again.

Anyway, the result is that many Madeirans need psychological care now, because, as we all know, constant fear creates unhealthy stress and brings on other diseases.  Instead, we ought to bring out the champagne when we see how efficiently the few persons who brought the disease, were caught at the airport. The tracking and tracing work well. If there is the slightest change that somebody else caught it in a local transmission (and it must be extremely low) the excellent “IASaude” health team will catch the person. The strategy to test and track everybody arriving without a negative test, is great; other holiday destinations should follow our example.

As of July 1st, the system will be with three “roads”: Via verde, green, is for travellers who filled out the epidemiological (what a word) questionnaire  (at  http://apps.iasaude.pt/s-alerta/questionarios/viagem/questionario.cfm?l=EN) in advance and already uploaded their negative test result to the IASaude site. They can sail through at arrival and go to their destination. People who arrive with a test, are “yellow”, they have to fill out the survey as well, which provides the IASaude team with their holiday address and other pertinent data for contact. Then they travel on to their hotel. IF they or somebody else close to them developed symptoms, the Big Fishing Net would come down on them and carry them into quarantine.

Persons who do not bring a negative test, will be in the “red” lane and undergo testing (paid by the Government, e.g. the taxpayer), questionnaire and whatnot. They will be advised to go straight to the hotel, and abstain from any activity until their test comes back as negative (12 hours). Again, if they turn out to be positive, the Big Net would scoop them up and deliver them into quarantine. I think there cannot be a better way to deal with it.

Anyway, I wish the Madeirans would not be kept under the cloud of fear; they ought to celebrate the fact that our Government mastered the situation with bravado!