Covid-19. Almost a third of Portuguese doctors did not have access to adequate protective equipment

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A seroepidemiological survey for SARS-CoV-2, released this Friday by the Portuguese Medical Association, points out that the prevalence rate in Portuguese health professionals is 3.1%, similar to that seen in the general population.

“It is very positive that there is no discrepancy because it means that professionals, in their workplaces, have prepared for this, taking, in some circumstances, their own protective material and also pressuring institutions to have equipment, otherwise they would have been the debacle ”, framed Álvaro Carvalho, coordinator of the study and president of the foundation to which he gives his name.

The data, still preliminary, also show that only 71.2% of doctors had the appropriate personal protective equipment, while 21.3% indicate that “sometimes” they had access to the indicated PPE (personal protective equipment) and 2.2 % recognize that they “never” had access to all means.

North with a prevalence three times higher than in the South

The rate of positive cases among medical professionals is higher in ARS Norte (6.2%), three times higher than in ARS Lisboa and Vale do Tejo (2%). Midway, with 4.6% seroprevalence, are doctors, nurses and hospital assistants from ARS Centro.

During the presentation conference of the study, Álvaro Carvalho pointed out that “the South benefited not only from the experience that came from abroad, especially from Italy and Spain, but also from the film that was playing in the North”, since the pandemic in Portugal “started from the top down”.

The results also show that the medical professionals with the highest prevalence for the new coronavirus are less than 29 years old, with a percentage of 3.6%, followed by 3.4% aged between 40 and 49.

The survey reveals that 47.4% of doctors and 43.8% of nurses underwent PCR tests (test that identifies the virus and confirms the covid-19). 64.9% of the doctors and 78% of the nurses that make up the sample, on the other hand, had contact with cases of covid-19, while for 3% of the health professionals the infection became asymptomatic.

The study, promoted by the Ordem dos Médicos, analyzed a total of 1802 health professionals between the months of April and July.

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