"I am genuinely convinced that we are experiencing a historic moment from a medical and ethical point of view," said FMUL Professor and Neurologist Joaquim Ferreira in the debate about the Covid-19 pandemic in Jornal de Sábado on SIC Notícias. A debate that brought to the table issues such as the need for a declaration of a state of emergency for the whole country, and the wave of solidarity shown by the Portuguese who, in recent days, have thanked and applauded at the windows of their homes the health professionals who courageously face the pandemic.
Joaquim Ferreira reiterated the position defended by the Director of FMUL and President of the Council of Portuguese Medical Schools, Fausto J. Pinto, who is in favour of more restrictive measures, justifying that “the lethality numbers are low, but the populational base that will be infected is huge and if we look at the number of patients already in intensive care, it proves that the ratio between the number of infected and in need of intensive care, is somehow higher than the numbers in Spain and Italy”, he stressed, warning of the available but limited resources to treat infected patients.
The Professor also reinforced the “uncertainty of the moment”, an uncertainty that is inherent to Science itself. "There are huge factors of uncertainty in this pandemic, that is, we have two months of knowledge about this virus" and said that the reality of a vaccine requires more than a year of intensive research work. “We currently have no specific treatment to treat this virus. What doctors are doing is using drugs that they used in other viral infections and are testing to see if any benefit results from that”. He also commented on the absence of scientific evidence that ibuprofen aggravates Covid-19 infection, stating that there is no need to change the medication for hypertension in view of the recent alerts that have emerged.
Despite the “huge concern”, the Professor appealed for trust, praising the quality of our centres and health professionals, who have the mission of “making war decisions in a context of peace”, in the face of a pandemic that has raised questions that shake some of the most serious convictions in modern medicine.