Return of families doubles the population of Pampilhosa da Serra in two months

Photo DB-Carlos Jorge Monteiro

THE population from the municipality of Pampilhosa da Serra, with the temporary return of many families, has doubled in the last two months, from 4,500 to 9,000 residents, the Mayor said today.

“We now have twice as many inhabitants,” he declared José Brito to the Lusa agency, associating this situation to the current context of the covid-19 pandemic.

More than two months ago, the municipality already knew that “many families” from the diaspora had temporarily returned to their homes, in this municipality in the interior of the district of Coimbra.

This trend began to take place before March 18, the date on which the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, decreed a state of emergency.

Headquarter of a municipality with almost 4,500 inhabitants, residing in the village and in 109 villages dispersed in a mountainous territory with an area close to 400 km2, Pampilhosa da Serra has an important community of natives and descendants in the Lisbon area, in addition to migrants elsewhere the country and abroad.

Having a house in the village, where they usually spend their holidays and weekends, taking advantage in some cases to take care of agricultural and forest properties, many of these people have chosen to comply with the confinement in their original land.

“Being in a house with a yard is very different from being locked up in an apartment, in a city like Lisbon”, exemplified the mayor.

Only when the services distributed protection material to residents free of charge did the City Council get a “more accurate” sense of how much the population had increased in recent months.

“We had to buy more masks and alcohol gels,” said José Brito.

This sudden doubling in the number of inhabitants, with the early return of people who already do so at least once a year, especially in the summer months, pleased the executive.

“It gave us a lot of satisfaction”, confirmed the mayor of Pampilhosa da Serra, where there are currently no covid-19 infections.

The film “That Dear Month of August” (2008) portrays the summer hustle and bustle, in this and other counties in the region, with the holiday visit of hundreds of families with local roots, which are joined by foreign tourists.

The feature film, by Miguel Gomes, was shot in the municipalities of Arganil, Oliveira do Hospital, Góis, Tábua and Pampilhosa da Serra, in 2006 and 2007.

In early April, Pampilhosa da Serra recorded only one positive case, of a young resident in Coimbra, where she is a nursing intern at an institution and who visited her family at that time.

This week, the municipality remained uninfected with the new coronavirus.

“This result is largely due to the behavior of people in this difficult period,” said José Brito to Lusa.

The municipality “did what it should and the other municipalities did too” to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

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