The board of directors of Hospital de São João demarcated today the existence of erroneous results in tests to covid-19 to soccer players made by Unilabs, partner of the League of clubs in this screening.
The newspaper Expresso reports today the existence of anomalies in the tests against nine players from Vitória de Guimarães and Famalicão, with positive results that turned out to be negative, made by Unilabs and which will have been detected by a doctor at Hospital de São João.
“The Centro Hospitalar Universitário São João does not have any protocol with Portuguese football clubs to collect research analysis of covid-19, and is not aware of test results from club athletes,” reads the joint statement from the Hospital de S. João and Unilabs Portugal sent to the Lusa agency.
In the same document, the two institutions admit the existence of several factors that can affect the results, such as harvest dates, applied procedures and methodologies, equipment and reagents used in the laboratory.
Contacted by Lusa, Famalicão's official source, reiterated her trust in Unilabs, adding that she never requested tests at the Hospital de São João, in Porto.
On May 12, the Portuguese Professional Football League (LPFP) presented Unilabs as a partner for testing covid-19, in view of the resumption of the I League, scheduled for June 3.
“LPFP managed, in a timely manner, to negotiate with Unilabs the presence of its technicians in our stadiums and internship centers, without the need to move players and staff, and these are reasons that we have as very important in the preparation of this return competition to Portuguese lawns, ”said Sónia Carneiro, executive director of Liga Portugal.
In a statement released today, LPFP assured that “Unilabs was the laboratory that offered the best conditions for the quantity and specificity of the tests requested by the Directorate-General for Health (DGS), being recognized as a laboratory with credibility”.
The body that governs professional football competitions also added that “it is not informed by the Laboratory of the results of the tests”, that “they are contracted and paid by each club individually with the chosen laboratory”.
“The protocol entered into does not presuppose exclusivity and clubs are free to carry out tests with the laboratory they deem most appropriate, as long as they respect the criteria and requirements defined by health authorities. There is no obligation to carry out the tests at Unilabs, although most clubs have chosen to do so ”, explained the LPFP.
After the declaration of a pandemic, on March 11, sports competitions of almost all modalities were played without public, postponed – Olympic Games Tokyo2020, Euro2020 and Copa America -, suspended, in the cases of national championships and international events, or even canceled .
The championships in France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Scotland have been canceled, while other countries are preparing for a gradual return to competition, such as England, Italy, Spain and Portugal, which will restart on June 3, after the German League has resumed on May 16.
There are 90 games to be played in the top echelon of national football, the only one that was not canceled due to the new coronavirus, as well as the final of the Portuguese Cup, which will oppose Benfica and FC Porto.
After 24 rounds, the ‘dragons’ lead the competition with 60 points, one more than champion Benfica.
Globally, according to a report by the AFP news agency, the covid-19 pandemic has already caused more than 335,000 deaths and infected more than 5.1 million people in 196 countries and territories.
More than 1.9 million patients were considered cured.
In Portugal, 1,289 people out of 30,200 confirmed as infected died, and there are 7,590 recovered cases, according to the Directorate-General for Health.
The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December in Wuhan, a city in central China.
JP // JH
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