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SARS-CoV-2 detection in Algarve population to increase the country response to COVID-19.

Innovative response

In order to promote a rapid response to COVID-19, since the beginning of March, the ABC-Algarve Biomedical Center starts to provide clarification sessions about COVID-19 to community. Right after, implement several other initiatives, including the establishment of a partnership with the Ministry of Health to strengthen the response capacity of the SNS24 Line; a free support line for the population of Algarve, the INFO COVID-19 Algarve; a COVID-19 test center in the Algarve, namely since April 1, all users and employees of the elderly homes in the Algarve have been screening for COVID-19, COVID-19 serological screening in the Algarve population and also started to produce swabs for biological samples collection, a partnership between the Algarve Biomedical Center (ABC) and the start-up MARK6 - PROTOTYPING.
We are an all-volunteer effort, and we are working to increase the National health System response and, therefore, help in COVID-19 pandemic control.

Specific issues addressed and anticipated impact

The ABC has been crucial in providing urgent support to Portugal National Health System and government as the initiatives carried out are essential to respond to COVID-19.
We have been established different partnerships and collaborations with the government in order to develop solutions, strategies, and tools to address the needs of the country.
Our goal is to help the Portuguese health system in diagnose the SARS-CoV-2 infection, by performing laboratory diagnostic qRT-PCR tests and by evaluating the serological response to SARS-CoV-2 virus in the population of Algarve.
These initiatives have a huge impact and benefits for our health system, since we can increase the capacity response, alleviate hospital overload and contribute to clarify the population about the current pandemic.

Organisations/institutions involved

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal.
Center for Biomedical Research (CBMR), University of Algarve.
University hospital Center of Algarve.
Superior Technical Institute of Lisbon.

Potential issues

If the COVID-19 situation becomes worse or protracted for longer periods, there it will be more difficult to sustain financially the different initiatives that we have been carried out. Therefore, more partnership support and government financial support would be helpfull to pursuit with the current activities.

Issues being addressed:

  • Patient care
  • Health and safety of responders
  • Information and practice sharing (with public and/or internal)


Date Submitted:

9 June 2020