Health secretary reveals Portugal carried out 110,000 COVID-19 tests in March
Portugal has carried out 110,000 diagnostic tests for COVID-19 since March 1st, the Secretary of State for Health announced today. “In this collective decisive phase in the fight against the virus, it is important to note that Portugal continues to increase the number of tests carried out. Since March 1st, 110 thousand diagnostic tests have been carried out”, said António Sales at the daily press update conference.
The Secretary of State stressed that the current installed capacity for diagnosis is 11 thousand tests per day, seven thousand in the public sector and four thousand in the private sector. According to Sales, 54% of the tests were carried out in public laboratories and 46% in private laboratories. “It is also important to say that Portugal has a test rate of about 10,500 processed samples per million inhabitants, which is in line and, in some cases, above countries like Sweden and Denmark and not far from Italy”, he stressed.
The Secretary of State also guaranteed “some stability in purchases” of medical protective material and in the forecast for delivery of orders. According to the minister, during this week 500 ventilators arrived in Portugal from abroad and, in the next, another 500 will also arrive. Of the donations made by various organizations, António Sales said that 144 ventilators are being delivered to hospitals across the country and according to needs. “This equipment [ventilators] is crucial at a time that the number of patients in the intensive care unit increases,” he maintained.
The Secretary of State also said that, as of today, anyone can volunteer to help in care homes and institutions that involve working with the elderly.
Before the press conference, the Directorate-General of Health’s epidemiological bulletin was released, indicating that Portugal today recorded 311 deaths associated with COVID-19, 16 more than on Sunday, which is a decrease on the rise from the previous day, and 11,730 infected (452 ??more).