The Union of Portuguese Nurses (SEP) considered today that a new confinement to stop the increase in infections by covid-19 is only sufficient if there is a control of the transmission chains and a support plan for the elderly.
“No matter how much measures that restrict freedom of movement or contact, they will always be insufficient if there is no perfect control of the transmission chains, because that is what dynamizes the increase in new cases, and if there are no measures on the elderly,” he said. José Carlos Martins, president of SEP, at the end of an audience with the President of the Republic.
Speaking to journalists, the union leader stated that “confining yourself is not enough”.
In this sense, he defended a plan to support the elderly who, every year, especially during the winter, frequently go to the emergency room and are often hospitalized in wards or in intensive care.
According to the union president, this plan consisted of hiring more nurses for the care units in the community that work with health centers, the main mission being to make regular visits to these elderly people and to accompany them permanently to avoid traveling to the emergency room.
José Carlos Martins stated that “there is a huge deficit in response” to the approximately 3.5 million elderly people who do not live in homes.
The SEP president also defended, along with Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, a reinforcement of the public health units that carry out the epidemiological surveys, considering that it is a determining issue to curb the increase in cases.
“Today there is a lot of difficulty, due to the deficit and the lack of human resources, to monitor the transmission chains. There should be an immediate admission of qualified people with intensive training programs to carry out epidemiological surveys ”, he said, stating that this work can be done by other professionals because it is not about clinical surveillance activities.
José Carlos Martins’ audience took place as part of a round that the President of the Republic is holding on the development of the covid-19 pandemic in Portugal, with several personalities linked to the Health and social sectors and which will already include former ministers , professional orders, unions and associations.
According to José Carlos Martins, currently the contact of people who have had an infection can take up to 10 days, when the standards recommend it to be up to 48 hours.
The union leader also considered that the Government should start the process of regulating local health systems and its implementation on the ground, which is provided for in the new basic health law, to allow the articulated functioning of the set of local entities to respond locally.
Portugal today surpassed all records since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, with 40 deaths, 4,656 infected and 1,927 hospitalized patients, 275 of whom were in intensive care, according to the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).
According to the DGS epidemiological bulletin released today, Portugal, which today records the highest number of new cases since March, the beginning of the pandemic, accounts for 137,272 confirmed cases of infection with the new coronavirus and 2,468 deaths.