Experts warn that Portugal may not be prepared for coronavirus

in News · 09-02-2020 08:00:00 · 2 Comments

Portuguese experts warn, in an article published in Acta Médica, that Portugal may not be prepared to face the new coronavirus and that it has not learned from avian flu and severe acute respiratory infection.

In an article published on 6 February in the Scientific Journal of the Ordem dos Médicos, the experts write: “It is possible that we are not yet prepared to respond to a suspected case of coronavirus (2019-nCov). The lack of preparation that we witnessed in the first suspected case (which fortunately was not confirmed) should be used to help health services correct their mistakes and be better prepared”.

“These lessons should have been learned a long time ago, after the emergencies of H5N1 avian flu, SARS [severe acute respiratory syndrome], the H1N1 pandemic and Mers-Cov [Middle East respiratory syndrome]”, write pulmonologist Raquel Duarte, from the Faculty of Medicine of Porto, Isabel Furtado, from the infectious disease service of the Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto, Luís Sousa, from the Public Health department of the Northern ARS, and Carlos Carvalho, also from this ARS and from the Abel Salazar Biomedical Science Institute.

The experts also defend: "More than being concerned with a number (...), we should ensure that the country is prepared to contain the disease quickly after the emergence of a suspected case or in the contagion of a healthy person".

Regarding quarantine, experts consider that “the freedom of each individual must be considered, but that the defence of public health must always be a priority”.

They remember that this new epidemic is a test of the country's ability to face a threat that will repeat itself over time. “Each time, we must learn from mistakes in order to be increasingly well prepared”, they stress, in the article entitled "The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Novel Virus, Old Challenges". [The New Coronavirus of 2019: New virus, old challenges].

The new coronavirus, which appeared last December in Wuhan (China), has already caused 563 deaths and infected more than 28 thousand people.

In addition to the mainland of China and the Chinese regions of Macau and Hong Kong, there are other confirmed cases of infection in more than 20 countries.

On 30 January, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency situation, which presupposes the adoption of prevention and coordination measures worldwide.


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By Carl Ramsey from USA on 24-02-2020 09:32

Given the culture of greeting with facial kissing and inability to cover mouthes when coughing I expect it to spread like the wild fires do here.

By John from Porto on 09-02-2020 10:12
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