Portugal has spent at least €54m on COVID-19 tests

Portugal’s National Health Service (SNS) has spent at least 54 million euros so far on tests, carried out by private laboratories, to detect COVID-19 infections, newspaper Publico revealed on Wednesday.

The central administration of the SNS  told the local newspaper that laboratories that have an agreement with the SNS had presented invoices amounting to almost 41.6 million euros between March and September. 

The remaining 12.4 million euros spent in October and during the first half of this month, resulted from an estimate carried out by Publico, based on tests carried out by laboratories and the percentage they claimed would be paid by the SNS.

According to Publico, over 4 million tests have been carried out since the start of the pandemic, with around 45% having been carried out in the public sector and a similar percentage in the private sector. The remaining tests were carried out in university laboratories.

Last week Portugal started to use mass rapid antigen detection tests, with over 1,000 tests having been carried out per day, Publico reported.