The STAYAWAY COVID mobile phone application for tracking contacts has already been downloaded more than 2.8 million times, said Health Minister Marta Temido today. However, he acknowledged that the insertion of codes is below expectations.
“The STAYAWAY COVID application had more than 2.8 million downloads and several codes inserted, but not as many as we would like”, said the minister at the joint hearing of the Health commission with the Eventual Commission to monitor the application of the response measures to pandemic of covid-19 disease and the economic and social recovery process.
The numbers now follow the previously achieved milestone of 2.5 million installations. At the time, Rui Oliveira, administrator at INESC TEC and Professor at UMinho, responsible for the development of STAYAWAY COVID, explained to SAPO TEK the numbers, the dissemination campaigns and the work to ensure interoperability with European applications.
Within a month, the STAYAWAY COVID application was downloaded and installed an additional 974 thousand times, which may not correspond to a number of people, or equipment, especially if there are repetitions or use in various equipment by the same person. On November 15, 2,590,842 times had already been installed, as revealed by the person responsible for the development of STAYAWAY COVID.
The numbers point to a 60% growth compared to October 15, 2020, but it is in the number of codes used that the growth was most significant. In October, 179 codes had been used since the launch of the application and in one month the number rose to 1,526 codes used. Still, it is a small percentage of the number of positive cases recorded, which has grown significantly in recent weeks and has accumulated over 236 thousand confirmed cases in Portugal since the beginning of the pandemic.
Despite this increase, Marta Temido remains dissatisfied and the truth is that the low use of codes has been criticized and there is no lack of testimonies from users who, after being diagnosed as positive, did not receive any code to use in applications, even after insisting with doctors. Even so, Rui Oliveira guaranteed at the end of November that “the adhesion has been satisfactory and the indicators are in line with other European countries with similar applications”.
Portugal has carried out more than five million tests since the start of the pandemic
Among the figures highlighted by the Minister of Health is also the carrying out of diagnostic tests for the new coronavirus, in which Portugal has already exceeded five million since the beginning of the pandemic in March.
“More than 5.1 million tests have already been carried out in the Portuguese health system, in an intense collaboration of the areas that comprise it. A network that today has 128 laboratory testing points and has been completed with rapid antigen tests. Today we have a total of 81 points for rapid antigen testing, ”he noted.
At the same time, Marta Temido stressed that the number of consultations in primary health care until October was 26.3 million, in line with the statistics for the same period in 2019: 26.5 million. “It is very encouraging, as it shows the resilience of primary health care,” he noted.
The official also underlined the performance of 9.2 million consultations in hospital care until October, when 10.3 million had been made in the same period in 2019. Also noteworthy are the approximately 474 thousand surgical interventions, less 100 thousand in relation to 2019.
Regarding the national strategic reserve, Marta Temido guaranteed that the country guaranteed “58 million surgical masks, of which 14 million FFP2 and FFP3 and 22 million surgical gloves”, in addition to other personal protective equipment.
In Portugal, 5,902 people died from 362,616 confirmed cases of infection, according to the most recent bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health.