Secretary of State for Health admits reviewing testing strategies

in News · 18-05-2020 15:32:00 · 0 Comments

The Secretary of State for Health, António Lacerda Sales, admitted on 18 May to review the testing strategies for covid-19 due to the dynamism of the new SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus.

"Due to the dynamism of the outbreak, we are in a phase in which we also have to have the democratic humility to carry out a review of, also, the testing strategies themselves", said the minister, commenting on the data of a survey of the Ordem dos Médicos, according to which 47 percent of doctors with symptoms of covid-19 or who had contact with suspected cases were never tested.

António Sales recalled, however, in the daily conference of the Directorate-General for Health on the pandemic, that health institutions have to respect DGS guideline number 13 on testing health professionals.

"This is a dynamic outbreak, what we found in March and April is not what we found in May, so we have to adjust to the dynamism of this outbreak," he stressed.

According to the Secretary of State for Health, more and more tests have been carried out.

"We have accumulated more than 650 thousand tests in tests, we test more than 60 thousand people per million inhabitants, and, therefore, there is an increasing reinforcement in our testing capacity", he stressed.

António Sales also thanked the Ordem dos Médicos and the health professionals “for all the contributions they can make to improve” the “responsiveness in all its aspects”.

According to a survey released on 18 May, 47 percent of doctors who had contact with a case of covid-19 - suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus or patients with symptoms compatible with the disease - have never been tested.

The data indicate that, of the doctors who underwent tests, 19 percent had to wait seven or more days for their performance and one in five (21 percent) waited between three to six days. In 59 percent of cases the tests were done in less than three days.

The Order of Doctors justifies the survey, whose data collection took place between 8 and 14 April and involved 6,613 doctors, with the “scarcity or inconsistency of data shared by health authorities”.

At the time of the survey, nearly 3 percent of the doctors who responded were or had been infected. The data also indicates that about 6 percent were prevented from working due to a positive diagnosis or quarantine of any type (awaiting testing, without testing or without symptoms, but with risky contact).

Official data released last week indicate that there are 3,183 health workers infected with the new coronavirus, responsible for covid-19, among which 477 doctors and 838 nurses.


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