This Thursday, April 30, the Municipality of São Brás de Alportel received the visit of the Regional Coordinator for Combating COVID19 in the Algarve, Secretary of State José Apolinário, accompanied by the District Operational Commander of Civil Protection, Vítor Vaz Pinto and Lieutenant Colonel Bartolomeu, liaison officer for the Portuguese Army.
After a first meeting at the Salão Nobre dos Paços do Município, where the Civil Protection Subcommittee Command Post – COVID19 is based, the visit began at the Arts and Crafts Center, currently transformed into the Coordinating Nucleus of the Project for the Creation of Social Masks São Brasenses.
The Secretary of State had the opportunity to meet the team responsible for pre-production, made up of workers from the municipality and volunteers, and the municipal team that coordinates the vast production network of social masks, which began this week to be distributed to the population, free of charge through the delivery points installed in the buildings of the Municipal Covered Swimming Pools and the Municipal Pavilion.
This project currently has a network of 75 producers, including seamstresses, tailors, artisans, volunteers and workers in the municipality, who have agreed to change roles and embrace this mission, to protect the population and boost the local economy. The social masks of São Paulo protect twice: the community against the virus and the local economy against the crisis. At the Arts and Crafts Center, it was also possible to get to know elements of the Young Volunteer Project “Apoio Maior” that is underway in the municipality, an initiative of the Parish Council in partnership with the municipality.
Then, the delegation visited the delivery points of the social masks: the Building of the Municipal Covered Swimming Pools, where the general delivery takes place and where the coordination and delivery nucleus of the Solidary Network for the Production of Protective Visors is also located, which have already passed the 4000 visors produced and the Municipal Pavilion, where groups are delivered, through purchase lists completed by residents, with the collaboration of local entities and condominium management companies, which reduces travel to the delivery point. people who are at risk groups.
During the visit, it was also possible to visit the Population Support Zones (ZAP’s) created in the Municipal Pavilion and the Sports Pavilion of the Secondary School, under the coordination of the Municipal Civil Protection Service, with the support of a set of local entities.
Also at the Escola Secundária, the delegation that integrated the Mayor of the City and other elements of the municipal executive full time, the Commander of the Territorial Post of the GNR, the coordinator of the Municipal Civil Protection Service and some elements of the same; the 2nd Commander of the Volunteer Firefighters and the Health Delegate had the opportunity to visit the School Cafeteria where meals are being prepared to provide food support to the most needy students and vulnerable families, in a project developed in partnership between the Municipal Social Services and the José Belchior Viegas School Group.
On the occasion, the Secretary of State also had the opportunity to learn about the actions that are being developed in partnership with the municipality to ensure that all children and young people have access to computer resources to monitor the school at home. In addition to the purchase of computers and internet devices ensured by the municipality, a solidarity campaign is underway with the community, so that all students from the 2nd cycle onwards are guaranteed, availability of a computer, with internet , in your house.
At the Community Support Center, the delegation had the opportunity to see how the Psychosocial team is working, coordinated by the Social Services Unit, which is on the ground supporting the most vulnerable population, with a special concern centered on isolated seniors.
On the occasion, the team attended the departure of one of the teams, who have the support of a volunteer doctor, during visits to the senior population. In addition to this integrated social support project, a set of finalist volunteers from the University of Algarve’s medical degree, allowing very important support in these social visits.
To prevent these at-risk groups from leaving their homes, the psychosocial team takes food and medicine purchases to two homes and, as of today, also takes social masks, which thus reach the senior population of the most isolated areas of the municipality.
The visit ended at the atrium of Santa Casa da Misericórdia, where Provedor Júlio Pereira had the opportunity to explain how the whole process of adapting to this new reality and the imperious mission of protecting users and employees of this institution has been, which from the first hour he placed an integrated prevention plan is underway through duplication of teams, in mirror and the creation of a team of volunteers for possible reinforcement.
In partnership with the City Council, Santa Casa is the 2nd door for the delivery of food aid, in a new service in the “Take Away” format, in the style of Social Canteen, aimed at a segment of the vulnerable population, without school children . On the occasion, the Provedor also presented the new project “COmVIDa Support”, which was one of the two selected in the Algarve to receive a support of € 20,000.00 from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, within the scope of a support program for institutions dedicated to the care of seniors.
Through this project, Santa Casa, in partnership with the municipality, namely with the Senior Intervention Group, will provide, free of charge, advanced home support, which will help to combat the isolation of seniors from São Paulo.