The Mayor of Leiria, Gonçalo Lopes, defended today the closure of schools in the municipality, where 10,4% of the students are at home, following the covid-19 pandemic.
"Every day that passes is a day late in the need for its closure," said the agency Lusa Gonçalo Lopes, also president of the Intermunicipal Community of the Leiria Region.
According to today's data from the municipality, 1.456 students stayed home from a total of 14.060. Of the 668 classes in the municipality, 31 are at home.
The Mayor stressed that these are “very significant indicators of how the school community at this stage already has a lot of people at home and that, therefore, it is urgent to take measures regarding the closure of schools”.
“Every day that passes is a sign of weakness and insecurity that is transmitted to the Portuguese population, in particular to parents who watch, on a daily basis, a growing concern about their children's health and who notice that it is necessary to stop this escalation of scary numbers and make an effective withdrawal ”, said the socialist mayor.
According to the latest bulletin from the District Civil Protection Commission, released at 00:04 today, the municipality of Leiria has recorded, since the beginning of the pandemic, in March last year, 4.074 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, remaining 923 active.
In the same period, 3.066 people recovered from the disease, with 85 deaths.
Prime Minister António Costa said on Tuesday in the Assembly of the Republic that he will not hesitate to close schools if he finds that the more contagious English variant of the new coronavirus has become dominant.
The statement came less than 24 hours after it announced new measures to contain the pandemic, without, however, altering the decision to keep schools open and with classroom teaching.
The President of the Republic said that the Government will consider, between today and Thursday, the possible closure of schools, and may take a decision before the extended session with epidemiologists scheduled for Tuesday.