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Pedro Ramos and the Fight Against Covid-19

Pedro Ramos, the Regional Secretary for Health and Civil Protection, said today that he hopes that some of the island’s schools will not have to close, due to the high number of positive Covid-19 cases registered within school communities.

During his Sunday press conference, he said that he was doing everything possible to ensure that schools remained open, but said that this could only happen if schools operate a strict isolation programme of all those affected (infectee and fellow students/teachers/school staff), and that parents vaccinate their children against the virus.

In a statement issued on Saturday, the 15th of January, Pedro Ramos confirmed that current resistance towards the vaccine was abating, and that approximately 90% of the Madeiran population has been vaccinated, including 3,500 children.

However, during today’s (16th of January) press conference, Pedro Ramos stated that “massive testing cannot be perpetuated indefinitely.”  He further clarified the situation by saying that the weekly testing had been vitally important with regards to the Ómicron variant, as it allowed the regions Health Authorities to isolate those affected and protect the population.

“What is needed is for people to be vaccinated,” he reiterated, underlining that although the current situation was not putting the health service under additional pressure, it is everyone’s responsibility to continue to treat this new phase of the pandemic cautiously, due to its highly infectious nature. 

Concluding he added that Madeira will adopt a “new strategy” to control the pandemic.  However, no further details were released, except that a working model would be presented by the President of Madeira.  This new ‘strategy’ will be a sentinel surveillance system, which will encompass all respiratory viruses, including Covid-19 and influenza will be introduced to the region.  

Samantha Gannon

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