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The President of the Government of Madeira considered, yesterday, that the region is going through one of the most difficult moments, with the economy experiencing a “phase of absolute recession”, announcing the preparation of measures to support families and companies.
“It is necessary to realize that we are in a very serious situation, one of the most serious that Madeira is going through and everything that happens will depend on factors that we do not control and on the civic behaviour that we have”, declared Miguel Albuquerque in a press conference to make the point of the situation related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Madeira official stressed that this is “an exceptional situation” and that “tourism is in a phase of absolute recession”. The island official argued that this “outbreak requires decisions by the authorities and implies civic behaviour of people and families essential for the effects not to be devastating”.

He announced that a working group was formed with the Commercial and Industrial Association of Funchal (ACIF), which will then outline “a set of support for companies and families” because this Covid-19 pandemic “will have a devastating effect on the economy “in the region.

“Right now we are facing a deadly threat and we have to put things in order, safeguard our lives and health and then save the economy”, he maintained, stressing that the Regional Government will “do everything so that families and companies are supported”.

Miguel Albuquerque also spoke about the measures that will be implemented as of Tuesday in the services of the Regional Public Administration, taking into account that buses, bars, restaurants can only run with 50% of their maximum capacity.

Thus, at the Madeiran executive meeting on Monday, it will be determined, among other aspects, “the reduction in the number of personnel to provide face-to-face service or assistance by half in each business sector in the region”.

Service to the public will be carried out only in “urgent, urgent situations that cannot be carried out by electronic means, also to protect employees,” he added.

The regional executive will “institute a regime of continuous work, between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm” and ask all public bodies and entities to “adopt the necessary measures to simplify administrative procedures”.

These measures are due to take effect on Tuesday and exclude elements of civil protection and health.

“Tomorrow we are going to take other measures because resources are limited”, stressed Miguel Albuquerque, mentioning that a hundred situations of people in quarantine are being monitored.

He also thanked the way in which the population and students have followed the Regional Government’s deliberations, namely to remain at home, urging that “we all have to be responsible”.

The new coronavirus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic was detected in December in China, and has already caused more than 6,500 deaths worldwide.

The number of infected people is around 164 thousand people, with cases registered in at least 141 countries and territories, including Portugal, which has 331 confirmed cases. Of the total infected, more than 75 thousand recovered.

The regional governments of Madeira and the Azores decided to impose a quarantine period on all passengers who land in the archipelagos, while the Government of the Republic advised against travelling to the islands.

In Madeira, no case of the disease has yet been officially confirmed.