Universidade de Lisboa announced the results of the Covid-19 antibody tests carried out to students, professors, researchers and staff. 2571 tests were carried out and only 38 detected SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies, which corresponds to 1.5% of the test sample. 98.5% haven’t been exposed to the new coronavirus. The tests allowed to detect 11 active cases.
The Covid-19 antibody tests started in May, on a voluntary basis and free of charge. The Faculty of Medicine (FMUL) coordinated the testing procedures in close collaboration with ULisboa and its schools. Técnico laboratory played an active role in the analysis of nasopharyngeal samples.
The group of people tested are mostly women (66%) between 19 and 74 years old (the average age was 44 years). This study allowed to identify not only 38 cases of seropositivity, but also 11 active cases – through the diagnostic test, RT-PCR, which shows the presence of the virus in the upper respiratory tract at the time of the test. In these cases, the patients had no symptoms and remained asymptomatic.
The purpose of this study was to determine if students, professors, researchers and staff had been exposed to COVID-19, in order to implement or adapt strategies to control the spread of the disease.
Técnico followed the spread of COVID-19 from the first moment. A contingency plan was created first, and then a deconfinement plan. On March 9, classes were suspended and students began to take classes remotely. On March 16, teleworking became mandatory and the access to the three campuses was conditioned.
Returning to normal have been made in a progressive and thoughtful way, taking into account the country’s pandemic situation, and always ensuring the safety of the community members.
Técnico has been actively contributing to the fight against this pandemic: production of medical shields and alcohol-based hand sanitizer, participation in a protocol for swabs production. In May, the Técnico laboratory joined the Portuguese Laboratory Network for the diagnosis of COVID-19.
Técnico researchers received a financial support from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia to help fight COVID-19 pandemic.
Técnico and Santander Portugal awarded ten scholarships to students with financial difficulties caused by the pandemic.