Contagion in the suburbs of Lisbon, where the containment is a challenge

Contagion dans les banlieues de Lisbonne, où le confinement est une gageure

“If we can’t leave the area, then it is necessary to help us,” pleads a young resident of the northern suburbs of Lisbon submitted since Wednesday at a reconfinement to control outbreaks of coronavirus that worried about Portugal.

“If you can’t work, we can’t pay (…) We are in need of food aid and a suspension of the payment of invoices “, explained to AFP Iuri Fidalgo, a Portuguese original cape verdean living in the city of Quinta do Mocho in the municipality of Loures.

Already, ” the people of the district do not come to buy masks and gel. It is complicated, ” complained the rapper of 23 years, to a few hours of the entry into force of new restrictions.

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

To stop the contagion, the government has decided to impose to the approximately 700 000 inhabitants of a score of neighborhoods, a new ” containment at home “, for at least two weeks.

Double punishment

Double punishment: the communities most affected by the recent contamination outbreaks are those that were the poorest to cope with the epidemic of COVID-19.

“The homes are located in areas where people can’t stop working and use of public transport which do not comply with the physical distance intended to be mandatory,” says the deputy mayor of Loures, Gonçalo Caroço.

“No new cases of infection is not linked to public transport “, has, however, said on Wednesday the minister of Health, Marta Temido, before a parliamentary committee.

This municipality communist, calling for national authorities to increase frequencies of public transport for several weeks. Reduced by half during the confinement imposed in mid-march, the supply of transport has to return to 90% from Wednesday.

“I’m scared, of course. If a bus is too full, I’m going down, ” said Wumi Afonso, a stove, a 37-year-old native of Sao Tome and Principe, waiting to Sacavém a second bus, which should allow him to reach the restaurant where she works in Lisbon.

By touching the part-time unemployment, she was able to be confined for two months with his four children, but her husband has never stopped working because ” in the building, one does not gain money if it works “.

In the 19 districts submitted to a new containment, which form a contiguous set even if they extend over the municipalities of Lisbon, Sintra, Loures, Amadora and Odivelas, protests have been limited to five people, against ten in the whole of the metropolitan area and twenty in the rest of Portugal.

“Necessary measures “

“These measures are necessary “, was able to confirm on the ground the nurse Silvia Gonçalves, who has criss-crossed the neighborhoods of Loures, with teams mobilized by the city since the beginning of June, in order to remind people about the importance of sanitary precautions.

This specialist in “community health” have no doubts that the new coronavirus primarily infects ” the most vulnerable “, in particular in the cities who suffer from poverty, precarious employment and an over-occupation of housing.

“In a district such as Quinta do Mocho, a little home is already a concern because of its near 3000 inhabitants will be very hard to isolate from each other “, she explained.

“As long as people will be hungry, nothing will prevent them to go to work, even being positive to the COVID-19 “, stressed the deputy mayor. “The best way to the confine, it is to provide social and economic support they need. “

Since a week, the Lisbon region faces new restrictions in order to avoid the crowds, such as the prohibition of alcohol consumption in the street or the closure of shops and cafés as early as 20: 00.

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