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Porto City Hall will test more than 1500 senior citizens and workers of all the nursing homes in Porto
26-03-2020
Porto City Hall project advances testing more than 1500 senior citizens and workers of all the nursing homes to Covid-19, in the city of Porto.

The idea of this giant operation came from Porto City Hall, and it is unprecedented in Portugal. This project is coordinated with the Hospital of São João and Health Centres, and it features the assembling of healthcare facilities at the Youth Hostel and at the SuperBock Arena/Pavilhão Rosa Mota, where the Army that will set up 300 beds. 


All elderly citizens living in nursing homes or in collective residencies in Porto will be tested for Covid-19 in the coming days, as well as all the workers of such facilities, by performing a systematic tracking, unprecedented in Portugal.

This is an initiative by Porto City Hall, which relies with the support of the Hospital of São João, which guarantees analysis of the samples within 24 hours; the health centres are in charge of the sampling stage and the Portuguese Army will support the assembly of beds; also, firefighters will help with transport and pre-hospital care.

This response is also coordinated with the Medical Teaching Centre of Hospital of Santo António, the other major hospital in the city of Porto.

This giant operation implies the continued separation of those with the new coronavirus from those who test negative for Covid-19, who will be transferred by the respective nursing homes, with the support of the Firefighters Battalion of Porto to clean spaces that are being prepared at the SuperBock Arena/Pavilhão Rosa Mota, where the Portuguese Army will support the assembly of long term care, and at the Youth Hostel.

For this purpose, the Municipality of Porto is recruiting volunteers or mobility workers to attend to those who do not have the virus and are displaced and in need of assistance.
The purpose is to completely separate the elderly who are tested positive for the new coronavirus and those who test negative.

The completion of this project is also possible thanks to the availability of 5 thousand tests for Covid-19 that were donated to the Municipality of Porto by the Fosun Foundation and Gestifute, based in Shanghai, which is twinned with Porto.

This unique operation implies the coordination and the harmonisation of several entities that must carry out sensitive analysis, transport, protection and monitoring operations, which are only possible due to the organised support by Porto City hall.

Rui Moreira truly believes this contribution will not only save lives and relieve the pressure on hospitals, but also enable a better and more permanent monitoring on this particularly vulnerable population.

"We cannot abandon retirement homes and this population, and we will do the best we possibly can, as far as the municipal competences are concerned and all in our power to save as many people as we can".

OTHER INITIATIVES 

In the meantime, as of last week, Porto put in place a mobile tracking centre for Covid-19, located at the City Park, in partnership with Unilabs and ARSN.

Porto City Hall has been in the forefront to support public hospitals in the city as well as the set-up of the first "drive-Thru" tracking unity in the country. It has also developed a partnership with a local company to start the production of surgical type masks.

Porto City Hall was also the first in the country to adopt internal contingency measures and the closure of all entertainment places and the cancellation of events.