Many people in Portugal are scheduling tests for Covid-19 in the run up to Christmas, to be able to meet with the family.
“Since the Prime Minister’s announcement on December 5 of what Christmas will be like, we have seen a very large increase in testing requests, namely PCR tests and also antigen tests, for the 21st, 22nd and 23rd of December “, said the president of the clinical diagnosis network Unilabs Portugal. “The 22nd of December alone we have over 1500 appointments.”
The situation shows that people see testing as a way to create an additional safeguard, in addition to the measures indicated by the Government.
The SYNLAB laboratory network has also been recording many RT-PCR test schedules for this period, but associated with travel. “Customers started contacting us very early (since the beginning of December) to make appointments for December 24th, in order to be able to make their trips on December 26th.”
The Germano de Sousa laboratories have also been contacted by some people asking if they are open around Christmas, but as they are working until the 24th and there is no need to make an appointment, they have not yet seen an increase.
The Director-General of Health, Graça Freitas, requested, in a recent press conference on Covid-19, that the population does not take tests on their own initiative, and should wait for a request, or for medical advice.
This request is supported by Unilabs Portugal, affirming that the diagnostic centers “are available to support public authorities and individuals individually in this request, but it is necessary to remember that everything that is being said by public health authorities must be taken into account”.
Testing can be seen as another safeguard, but the Christmas celebrations should be held with a small number of people, with physical distance and with the use of masks whenever possible.
Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/