“There is a lesson to be learned: the Public Health infrastructure has to be reinforced, the teams have to be reinforced, not only in number, but also from a technological point of view”, said Graça Freitas, in an interview with the Lusa.

The head of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) said that the pandemic “served as a catalyst (…) for great technological development” that cannot be missed, “both this new organisation of the teams, and the training for another epidemic”.

“We have to think about the Public Health organisation to give more answers and even better answers than those that were given. Public health has completely outgrown itself,” she underlined.

Graça Freitas highlighted the collaborative work of municipalities, the military and health centres during these two years, recalling that “everyone participated” with the public health teams.

“These professionals didn't stop, they didn't have vacations, they worked around the clock (…) and watched over 30 million people from afar”, she said.

She also said that the pandemic forced Public Health to reinvent itself: “Public Health had to reinvent itself and it did so at the expense of professionals who ended up being co-opted to the cause”.