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Covid – going down

Our infection numbers are slowly but surely going down. It is logical; the vaccination program is doing well; 30.000 people have been vaccinated already (our population: 250.000).

Most of our senior citizens above the age of 80 and somewhat younger ones with health conditions were vaccinated. On Tuesday, around 7000 teachers were given their first vaccine shot.

The vaccination program has a good impact. The new infections we now have, are mostly from the local pool of “suspects” who had contacts with an infected person. So far, so good!

But we need the tourists to come back urgently. Only: once they do, we’ll get imported infections again. My opinion: as they will be in the quarantine hotel, let’s count them as “offshore”, in a separate statistic which does not impact our real “local” transmissions.

Also, the Mainland DGS Health Service does not have the real numbers for the Island. Delays on the information flow to the Mainland may have been the reason. Now we have a statistical battle between DGS and our local DRS.

Our Rt number should be below 1 but who knows?

In any case, it is scary for the population to have inflated numbers bandied about, and it may prejudice the restart of the tourism business.

We need good numbers; we certainly have many fans around the world who want to come to Madeira Island to holiday here. Yes, they ought to bring a negative test or at least pass one here, but they won’t want to travel if they have to pass a second test and/or go into quarantine once they return home. 

So, patience: Our Tourism Minister will duly toot the horn once we are a “low risk destination” again!

Ursula Hahn

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