Tests do not detect incubation period
The Diario reports online that the President of the National Association of Public Health Doctors, Ricardo Mexia, warned last night, in an interview with TVI24, that specialists have doubts on screening with tests on tourists who will arrive at Madeira Airport from July 1 and believes the tests will “not be particularly effective” in detecting patients with COVID-19.
“We have such problems with people who are in their incubation period. I can take the test at the airport and the test is negative and be a test with a correct diagnosis. And the next day I develop the disease”, exemplified the doctor of Public Health of the Department of Epidemiology of the Ricardo Jorge Institute, who also considers that“ the window for detection is small (…) and improbable” because in practice we are talking about people who, when they left their countries or regions, were in good health and who got sick or developed symptoms during the flight. “I have doubts if screening on arrival is a measure that can solve the problem for us. You can give us some data, you can identify some cases, but I would say that there will surely be few (who would not be identified)”, added Ricardo Mexia.
In view of the low efficiency of airport screening and taking into account that the pandemic situation “is not yet over, neither in Portugal, nor in most other countries, but in all,” the public health doctor concludes that “we have to be cautious ”.
Meanwhile, the health authorities in Madeira, announced in their latest update yesterday that three more cases have recovered from COVID-19 on another day that saw no new cases.