Former Health Minister Adalberto Campos Fernandes defended today that it is necessary to be “agile and act quickly” on the use of rapid tests to “better control” the covid-19 transmission circuit.
"It was important that it did not take too long to make a decision on the dissemination and dissemination of the use of rapid tests," the specialist in Public Health told Lusa.
For Adalberto Campos Fernandes, this decision “will help everyone to better control the infection transmission circuit”.
“I believe that, at this moment, it is necessary in this area to be agile and act quickly”, defended Adalberto Campos Fernandes, who was Minister of Health between 2015 and 2018.
The Minister of Health, Marta Temido, said today that the use of rapid tests for detecting covid-19 will be defined at the end of the week by a group of experts, noting that the reliability of the results is a concern.
"We have a panel of experts working from the beginning of the week on the subject and by the end of the week we will have a definition of the circumstances in which these tests can be used, especially with regard to the context of their use," said Marta Temido, regular press conference on the development of the pandemic in Portugal.
The minister stressed that rapid antigen tests are not yet recommended in Portugal for the diagnosis of cases of infection by the SarCov-2 virus and that the major concern is their safety and the reliability of the results, recalling that the technical options of these tests are very recent.
"These tests do not eliminate the hypothesis of the occurrence of false negatives, they are tests that may have low sensitivity in asymptomatic individuals or with a low viral load", said Marta Temido, stressing that most European countries still do not use them as diagnostic tests .
“What interests us is to have tests that guarantee the reliability of the results”, insisted the minister.
The testing strategy for the new coronavirus is to guarantee “quick results and safety and that is why it is important to stratify the various laboratory tests according to their purpose”.
The Fall Winter 2020/2021 Health Plan already foresees the inclusion of two types of tests: rapid tests in less than 60 minutes and tests with results available in 24 hours.
Today, Portugal counts three more deaths related to covid-19 and 802 new cases of infection with the new coronavirus, according to the epidemiological bulletin of the Directorate-General for Health.
The three deaths were recorded in the region of Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, where there is also the highest number of infections and the largest daily increase.