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Ponta Delgada ,  March 10, 2020

Regional Government invests 300 thousand Euros in 10 negative pressure rooms in Ponta Delgada Hospital

The Regional Secretary for Health announced today that the Infectious Disease Services of Divino Espírito Santo Hospital (HDES) in Ponta Delgada will be equipped with 10 negative pressure rooms and equipment, adding this is an “investment of about 300 thousand Euros that should be completed in May." 

Teresa Machado Luciano spoke in Ponta Delgada during a hearing at the Committee on Social Affairs of the Legislative Assembly at the request of the Regional Government. 

The Secretary for Health also stated that the Regional Azores Civil Protection and Fire Service is preparing the “coming of a field hospital to the Region with the necessary equipment for its operation.” 

Regarding the number of ventilation support equipment, Teresa Machado Luciano stated that "there are 48 units in the entire Region," but added that "more units are being purchased."

Teresa Machado Luciano also mentioned that besides the 80 isolation beds existing in the three regional hospitals, they are another “20 beds in Island Health Units, including "two on the island of Santa Maria, four on São Miguel, four on Graciosa, four on São Jorge, four on Pico, one on Corvo and one on the island of Flores.” 

The Secretary for Health also informed that, regarding the Region's laboratory capacity, the Specialised Service of Epidemiology and Molecular Biology was reinforced in terms of reagents and technicians' schedules. 

As for the events scheduled for the coming months, Teresa Machado Luciano pointed out that the Regional Directorate for Health has already issued an information circular recommending that a risk assessment should be carried out in conjunction with municipal health authorities. 

To improve the risk assessment and the early detection system, the government official noted that "the risk assessment and early detection questionnaire already implemented in cruise ships will be extended to aircraft, hotels and Regional Health Service units."

The Regional Secretary also stated that the Azores Health Line has new facilities, having been reinforced to “six service stations, which will be activated whenever necessary." 

At this time and after the implementation of the first plan to reinforce resources, on March 4, the Azores Health Line now has four nurses on duty from 8 am to 12 am and three nurses from 12 am to 8 am. 

The Regional Secretary for Health also revealed that, between March 1 and 8, the Health Line received 500 calls, 218 of which were related to COVID-19. 

Regarding these calls, 116 concerned the 3rd suspected case and resulted in 159 records of close contact. 

Teresa Machado Luciano informed that the Public Health Authority has already held meetings with representatives of hotels and local accommodation associations in the Region to clarify doubts and support the preparation of contingency plans. 

Moreover, the Regional Secretary for Health also announced that "meetings with the Medical Association and the Nursing Association have already been scheduled for this week" in order to strengthen cooperation ties, increasing the number of doctors and nurses on duty.

 Secretary for Health also revealed that, as part of the plan to contain the infection with the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the biometric attendance registration system will be suspended.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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