In order to better face pandemic times and prevent outbreaks of contagion at the University of Lisbon, the academic institution started a Covid-19 screening operation at the end of October, which will extend throughout the 2020/2021 entire academic year, and which includes testing the entire academic community, namely students, lecturers and staff, at least twice a year.
On 12 November, we went to the Medical Centre of Cidade Universitária, one of the main places for testing, but not the only one, (due to the decentralization of Ulisboa's infrastructures, it is possible to carry out the procedure at the Higher Technical Institute, Higher Economics and Management Institute, in the faculties of Fine Arts and Human Kinetics, as well as in the sports pavilion of the Ajuda Campus).
The procedure is simple: after registration, in September, the sample is selected at random by the actual Schools, thus ensuring the inclusion of different classes and courses simultaneously, and the email with the appointment is sent to all those who have expressed interest.
At about 3 pm, when we arrived at the door of the Medical Centre, it was possible to see the community's support, which, in an organized way, wearing a mask and with due social distance, waited for its turn.
There were some familiar faces, and few were nervous about the swab or resentful of the result.
This is the case of Lara Pontes, Senior Technician from the Academic Area of the Faculty of Medicine, who, despite some discomfort during the process, stressed that “It was fast. I consider it important to perform the test, to know if we are well. It is a safety issue”.
Also Ana Mota, Senior Technician at the FMUL Library, says it was “Fine. It was a bit uncomfortable, but not too much. I look forward to the results, by email, within 48 hours”.
Sara Tanqueiro, a researcher at the Professor Ana Sebastião's Laboratory, from the iMM, “It's the second test I'm going to do. I did the first in May. I have no symptoms, but as I come to work 8 hours a day, every week, it is a matter of safety”.
Carolina Cravo, a year 1 student of the Degree in Nutrition Sciences, has also taken other tests previously and shares the opinion of the importance of carrying out the Covid-19 tests.