Portugal remains coronavirus-free but is “preparing its hospitals for the worst-case scenario” should the deadly virus make its way here.
Reports Expresso, the national health board (DGS) will be sending a check-list to hospitals to make sure they meet the minimum requirements to treat coronavirus victims.
Meantime, the 20 people who arrived in Portugal by plane on February 2 after having been in Wuhan, China will be released from Lisbon’s Curry Cabral Hospital – where they voluntarily remained in quarantine – on Saturday after showing no signs of the illness.
Portugal’s director of health Graça Freitas has praised the willingness of these 20 people – 18 Portuguese and two Brazilians – to remain under observation at the hospital for the recommended 14-day period during which infected victims may show no symptoms despite being carriers of the virus.
She added that new reports that the virus’ incubation period might be 24 days were not taken into account as they have not been confirmed or mentioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Meantime, international press reports that China has “removed” several senior officials over their handling of the outbreak at a time when the death toll has already topped 1,000.
There are now more than 42,200 confirmed cases across China.