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Know how the Covid-19 is being screened in all the nursing homes in Porto
30-03-2020
Porto City Hall launched a full Covid-19 screening to all the nursing homes in Porto last week. This initiative is supported by Hospital of São João, test validation by the University Hospital Centre of Santo António, and the screening tests collection by two Heath Centres in town. The collection started yesterday. 

This is the first disease screening of its kind in Portugal, and it includes testing all the care facilities' residents and workers, and the respective follow up in especially established health facilities, which have been prepared by the Municipality.

The first of those centres is the Youth Hostel, which will accommodate circa one hundred people that are negative for Covid-19, and who don't have the appropriate care in their nursing centres.

Also, Porto City Hall is preparing anther two centres that will accommodate, in case of need, more elders to avoid infection and transmission to other people.

This operation, launched by the Municipality of Porto, is coordinated with private and public entities, and it is in line with the recommendations by the WHO: "Isolate, Test, Treat and Locate", as this is the best way to diminish transmission.

As was already announced, this model is being replicated in the country, where the elder population will be tested, as well, despite the initial hesitation by the National Directorate of Health (DGS) regarding the need to carry out massive testing, as recommended by the WHO.

Besides the systematic testing to circa two thousand elderly in Porto, set up by Porto City Hall, which started on 29th March, the programme also includes several mitigation and preventive actions that are to be implemented immediately.

For this, the Municipality requests that caretakers and care home facilities work jointly and cooperate.

This plan is free of charge to all beneficiaries or to the institutions, and no discrimination is done regarding the way the nursing home is managed, as the sole purpose is to protect the elderly. No information will be shared with other institutions or with the Government.

Nursing homes in Porto should wait to be contacted by the authorities of their geographical area, to set a date for Covid-19 screening and to define, on a case by case scenario, the best strategy and to move forward according to the screening results.

The sole purpose of this initiative by Porto City Hall is to protect the elderly and the care takers and to provide treatment to those in need of it, as well as to prevent contagion.

Porto City Hall is very much pleased to see this model, which has been crafted by the Municipality, jointly with locals hospitals, replicated at national level; but, there is also the need to prepare the suitable solutions to adopt after the screening phase, which means to have the necessary means to isolate those with negative test results from those with positive test results, sending the first to treatment and accommodating the latter, thus preventing contagion.