Doctors in Galicia surprised to find very few cases of Covid-19 after rapid testing in North-West Spain
HEALTH centres in Galicia have begun to carry out the rapid tests of the epidemiological study with which Sergas wants to assess the prevalence of the coronavirus in the Galician population, almost 51,000 tests in this first phase and another 51,000 in the second wave. But after three days of samples, doctors are surprised, there are hardly any positive cases.
“Either the tests are very bad or the circulation of the virus in Galicia is non-existent,” says Jesús Sueiro, a doctor at the Concepción Arenal ambulatory.
The data of this centre are more than striking as it is an ambulatory in the capital of Galicia, an urban area in which the virus has circulated, and has not had a single positive among the 215 tests carried out so far. Susana Aldecoa, a doctor at a health centre in Vigo, Beiramar, has the same impression, “here we have concentrated the samples from three health centres, we do about 40 a day, and not one has been positive.”
One of the arguments that would explain these results is that, contrary to popular belief, the virus has barely circulated among the Galician population. However, this will mean more restrictions in de-escalation, because the higher the immunised population rate, the easier it will be to return to normal.
The other suspicion that doctors have is that these rapid tests are not of good quality. These are the tests that the Ministry of Health sent to the communities in early April and that were rejected as a diagnostic tool because they do not differentiate between a user in the middle of the infection phase or has when already cured. The only thing they detect is that the patient has been in contact with the virus because he has antibodies. When the efficacy of this test, from the Wondfo brand, was questioned, the central government assured that its reliability was studied at the National Centre for Microbiology with samples from patients from various hospitals
As of last Friday, 5,043 people were cited and only 37 positives were obtained: 15 in Vigo; five in Santiago; five in Ourense; four in Lugo; four in Pontevedra; two in A Coruña and two in Ferrol.
The central government has now designed its own epidemiological study, which started this Monday although it has not started in Galicia. In this case, there will be 90,000 samples in total, about 4,000 in the Galician community, and it will be done in collaboration with the INE and the health services.