The Minister of Health said today that private laboratories will respond to an increase in testing for covid-19, complying with the update of the standard of the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) on testing of risk contacts.
“We count on private laboratory network, with whom we have already contacted and in which we all need, more than ever, to put ourselves at the disposal of the country at this turning point and we know that there is also the ability to significantly increase, either in classic method tests or in rapid antigen tests and availability for new methodologies ”, he said.
In statements made on the sidelines of a visit to the Joint Command for Military Operations, where the support group for the task force coordinator of the National Vaccination Plan against Covid-19, Vice Admiral Gouveia e Melo, in Oeiras, is installed, the Minister of Health highlighted the importance of revising the standard in relation to tracking contacts and the impact it can have in combating the pandemic at this stage.
“Among the various updated aspects, we have the answer to what the Ministry of Health had asked to be evaluated technically and that other voices also came to underline this need, which is a more widespread use of laboratory tests, whether it be PCR tests or rapid antigen tests in contact screening ”, began the official.
Marta Temido also pointed out that, “regardless of the level of risk, the determination is that all people should be referred for testing ”, whether they are high or low risk contacts with an infected person.
“Later, [haverá] also another intensification of screening in certain environments at a stage we are entering – in which we are beginning to notice a decrease in incidence: counteract what is the lowest demand by an expansionist movement in the offer of case detection in the community ”, he added.
At the same time, the Minister of Health recalled that the capacity of the public laboratory network “Was significantly expanded throughout 2020”, the result of a “testing capacity expansion program” that involved more than eight million euros and which allowed the average of daily tests to be raised from 6,000 to 22,000 at public level.
“In addition, we also have partners from the academy, who have been precious and who have a significant territorial presence and which in terms of detection capacity in terms of antigen tests can also be very significant”, he concluded.