left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
The widespread use of masks that the Government of Madeira is going to distribute in the region, within the scope of the covid-19 pandemic, will not be mandatory, as the executive announced, but recommended, the presidency told Lusa today.
According to a response from the president’s office, Miguel Albuquerque, the use of masks by the general population is not mandatory because that “would oblige the new legislation”.
The executive maintains, however, the recommendation that the masks be used by everyone.
Last week, Miguel Albuquerque admitted that “at a later stage”, with the reduction of circulation limitations, one could think of a scenario of mandatory use of masks.
Then, on Friday (10th), the regional secretary of Health, Pedro Ramos, said that the 250,000 masks ordered by the executive would be distributed starting this week, via CTT, and that their use would be mandatory.
On Monday, Miguel Albuquerque said that the Regional Government will start distributing the masks at the end of this week, with the delivery of two units per household, covering about 200 thousand people.
“Then, in the exercise of certain professions, the use will be mandatory”, he said, in a videoconference, after an extraordinary meeting of the Government Council, in Funchal, in which new measures were communicated in the scope of the containment of the covid-19 pandemic.
The minister sent to the next Saturday, April 18, the announcement about the possible progressive resumption of economic activities in the region, emphasizing that the mandatory use of a mask will then be determined due to the reopening of companies.
“It is a signal that we send to the population, of incentive for the use of the masks”, he said, reinforcing that the executive, of PSD / CDS-PP coalition, is looking for a “positive evolution” of the pandemic situation in the archipelago.
Miguel Albuquerque stressed that in professions where contact between people is greater and constant, such as construction, mandatory use of a mask will even be decreed.
“At the end of this week, masks for individual use, washable and reusable, start to be distributed by CTT, in their respective homes”, he clarified, stressing that the measure covers about 200 thousand people, in a population of 267,785 inhabitants (2011 Census).
Miguel Albuquerque pointed out that the initiative is based on “scientific studies” and “examples from other countries”, which “strongly recommend” the use of protective masks by the general population.
Globally, the covid-19 pandemic has already claimed more than 137,000 deaths and infected more than two million people in 193 countries and territories. More than 450,000 patients were considered cured.
In Portugal, 629 people out of the 18,841 registered as infected died, according to today’s balance sheet.