2,131 infected health professionals

in News · 16-04-2020 18:11:00 · 0 Comments

The Secretary of State for Health revealed on 16 April that there are 2,131 health professionals infected with the new coronavirus, responsible for the covid-19, among which 396 are doctors and 566 nurses.

There are 1,169 infected operational assistants, technicians and other health professionals, revealed António Lacerda Sales, at the daily press conference to update the covid-19 pandemic in Portugal, referring to data reported by the National Epidemiological Surveillance System (SINAVE ).

Already asked about data from a survey by the School of Public Health (ENSP), made public on Wednesday, 15 April, and which reveals that more than six out of 10 suspected cases of covid-19 in health professionals have not been subject to active surveillance and only a quarter underwent the test in the first 24 hours, the director-general of Health, Graça Freitas, without commenting directly on the study, pointed out that none of the values ??"seems strange at first".

“I want to believe that with the occupational health teams and with the health authorities, many of the health professionals who stayed at home for 14 days were under passive surveillance, that is, themselves monitoring their symptoms and reporting. It is a special population with the capacity to self-monitor itself. None of these values ??seem strange to us,” he replied.

The ENSP survey compiles data from the first questionnaire made to health professionals by the Covid-19 Barometer, covering the period between 2 and 10 April and corresponding to 4,212 responses from doctors, nurses, diagnostic and therapeutic technicians, operational assistants, pharmacists, nutritionists, psychologists and laboratory professionals.

Of these, 36.7 percent work in areas dedicated to the treatment of patients or suspected covid-19, namely in primary health care (39.1 percent), emergencies (31.8 percent), wards (21.7 percent), Intensive Care (12.6 percent) and elsewhere (19.5 percent).

“The concrete reality points out that more than 10 percent of all infected people are health professionals who, in addition to being a specific risk group when the disease is contracted when providing care to patients, can, in the current pandemic phase, also constitute potential risk to their contacts”, says Florentino Serranheira, study coordinator of the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at ENSP.

Without commenting on these specific data, Graça Freitas said that "a health professional or a person who needs to be isolated for 14 days because they had close contact" with the covid-19 case "does not necessarily need to be tested".

“Because whether the test is positive or negative, it quarantines because of the incubation period and has to stay away from the workplace. As for active surveillance, this means that a person stays at home for 14 days and is contacted by health authorities. But people are often able to do self-surveillance. What we call passive surveillance,” she said, admitting that this is the case for many health professionals.


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