The director of the Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (IHMT) considered this Thursday that the situation of Covid-19 in Portuguese-speaking African countries “is not critical”, but was concerned about the lack of fans to treat the most seriously ill patients .
“We are not yet in a critical situation. Cape Verde registered a death, Angola has a more or less stabilized situation and Mozambique also, ”Filomeno Fortes told the Lusa agency. The Angolan doctor believes that the climatic conditions in these countries, associated with measures of epidemiological control of the borders and the fact that, in the majority, they do not have great tourist flows have contributed to the reduction of the risk of spread of the disease.
We are concerned that these countries are not prepared to receive critically ill patients ”, he said, considering that this must be one of the main concerns of governments. “There is not enough staff prepared, in quantity, to respond to critical cases and there is no equipment, for example fans. If there is an exponential increase in cases, we will not be able to ventilate these patients, ”he said.
Filomeno Fortes believes that the issue of professionals can be solved with the help of friendly countries, considering that both Angola and Mozambique can “quickly turn to Cuba for support in human resources”. “The equipment issue remains to be resolved, and then we started with another drama,” he said.
The director of the IHMT also underlined the importance of governments betting on “social mobilization” to “discipline the population in relation to behavior, whether hygiene or cultural”. Filomeno Fortes expressed particular concern about Guinea-Bissau, taking into account the political and institutional crisis in which the country remains immersed and the border with Senegal.
Guinea-Bissau has a border with Senegal, where there is a lot of movement, and [também]At this moment, it is difficult to find a single commanding voice ”, he said, defending interventions by the African Union and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP) in order to support the country in the fight against the disease.
Filomeno Fortes said that IHMT is mobilizing the network of its former doctorates and masters in Portuguese-speaking countries and working in partnership with CPLP to create a “methodological platform” with updated and credible technical documentation and information on the disease, in Portuguese .
The idea is, according to Filomeno Fortes, to help countries to develop their contingency plans, “avoiding making some mistakes by disseminating information that is circulating on social networks”. In addition to actions to support the fight against the disease in Portugal, the director of the IHMT said that the organization is also prepared to provide distance training for technicians from Portuguese-speaking countries.
Right now, we are already in articulation with Angola and Cape Verde and we also want to establish a link with Guinea-Bissau because, as we understand that the situation is worrying, we can, outside political links, provide technical support to colleagues in Guinea -Bissau in handling these cases ”, he said.
Angola and Cape Verde each register three cases of Covid-19 in their territories, with one death from the disease in Cape Verde. Mozambique confirmed five cases of infection and Guinea-Bissau two.