reconfiguration of several districts in Lisbon

Faced with an increase in the number of cases of Covid-19, Portugal decided to reconfigure from Wednesday to about twenty blocks in the suburbs of Lisbon for at least 15 days. New cases affect insecure workers, due to crowded public transport. Several elected officials require social support.

“If we cannot leave the neighborhood, we must help,” appeals a young resident of the northern suburbs of Lisbon, which is the subject of Wednesday 1your July for a reconfiguration to control focus on coronavirus worrying Portugal. The southern European country, which opened its border with Spain on the same day, had so far been relatively spared from the spread of Covid-19.

“If we can’t work, we can’t pay (…) We need food support and a cancellation of bill payments,” Iuri Fidalgo, a Portuguese native of Cape Verde, told AFP. lives in the town of Quinta do Mocho, in the municipality of Loure. Already, “people in the neighborhood can’t buy masks and gels. It’s complicated,” the 23-year-old rapper complained, a few hours before the entry into force of new restrictions.

With an average of 321 new infections per day, the number of new cases reported in Portugal increased by one third in June compared to May. They remain largely concentrated in the Lisbon region.

To limit contagion, the government has decided to impose a new “containment” for at least two weeks on 700,000 residents in twenty blocks.

“Home is where people can’t stop working”

The communities most affected by recent outbreaks of pollution are those that were the poorest to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic. “The homes are located where people cannot stop working and use public transport that does not allow them to respect the physical distance that is assumed to be mandatory,” explains Loures Deputy Mayor Gonçalo Caroço.

This communist municipality has asked the national authorities to increase the frequencies of public transport for several weeks. Halved during the containment introduced in mid-March, the transport offer must return to 90% from Wednesday.

“Of course I’m scared. If a bus is too full, I go back down,” said Wumi Afonso, a 37-year-old chef from Sao Tome and Principe, while waiting in Sacavém for a second bus that would let him reach the restaurant there she works in Lisbon. By touching on short-term work she was able to limit herself for two months with her four children, but her husband never stopped working because “in building you only make money if you work”.

In the 19 districts that were subjected to a new containment, which forms a coherent whole even though they extend over the municipalities of Lisbon, Sintra, Loures, Amadora and Odivelas, the gatherings were limited to five people, compared to ten in the entire metropolitan area and twenty in the rest of the city. Portugal.

Closing of restaurants and coffee in the evening throughout the region

“These measures are necessary,” could confirm that Nurse Silvia Gonçalves, who has crossed the Loures neighborhoods with teams mobilized by City Hall since early June, to remind the population of the importance of health measures.

This “community health” specialist is unquestionable that the new coronavirus infects above all “the most vulnerable”, especially in the cities affected by poverty, insecure employment and overuse of housing. “In a neighborhood like Quinta do Mocho, a small home is already worrying because its nearly 3,000 residents will find it very difficult to isolate themselves from each other,” she said.

“As long as people are hungry, nothing will stop them from going to work, even being positive to Covid-19,” the deputy mayor said. “The best way to limit them is to give them the social and financial support they need.”

Over the past week, the Lisbon region has experienced new restrictions to avoid crowds, such as banning consumption of alcohol on the streets or closing shops and cafes from 10am.

With AFP