July 24, 2021

Delay in conclusions on pilot events is not due to technical error, says DGS

NIn a statement sent to Lusa agency, DGS stated that “the monitoring work of potential cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection, after the assistance to the pilot cultural events in April and May, is still in completion”.

To conclude the monitoring, “it is necessary to match the identification information that was used to access the events with the user number of the National Health Service, which makes the process more time-consuming”, admitted the DGS.

A DGS source told Lusa news agency that the delay was not due to any technical or computer error, as pointed out by associations representing the entertainment sector.

Between April and May, four pilot events were held in Braga, Coimbra and Lisbon, with the audience sitting and standing, and with the prior performance of diagnostic tests, free of charge, to spectators, in collaboration with the Portuguese Red Cross.

The objective of these events was to define, according to the Government, “new technical guidelines and the carrying out of SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic tests for performances and festivals”.

More than a month later, the conclusions of these pilot events have not yet been released, as the identification data of spectators who underwent the diagnostic test are still being matched.

About the pilot events, the Association of Promoters of Shows, Festivals and Events (APEFE) told the Lusa agency that it was informed, on Friday, that there had been “a computer problem” with the data of spectators who participated in the events -pilot.

Today, the Portuguese Association of Music Festivals (Aporfest) regretted, in a statement, that the pilot events were a “waste of time”, and says it was surprised, 45 days after they were held, with a “technical problem” in data management.

Data from these pilot events are still unknown at a time when the Government has already decided, at a Council of Ministers meeting held last week, that diagnostic tests will be mandatory for covid-19 for entry into sporting and cultural events and participation in family events, including weddings and baptisms.

At the press conference following the Council of Ministers, the Minister of State and Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, explained that it is up to the DGS to define the number of participants per event from which the covid-19 test is required. .

On Sunday, the Associação Espetáculo – Portuguese Agents and Producers defended that diagnostic tests for covid-19 should be free at cultural events and, as a counterpart to the obligation, ask for an increase in the capacity of the rooms.

To Lusa agency, the prosecutor Álvaro Covões, from the direction of APEFE, said that he requested further clarification from the DGS on the obligation to carry out tests for covid-19, because “it is not clear whether [a testagem obrigatória] it is for all shows or for shows above a certain capacity”.

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