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Government to do one million tests to find out Catalonia's immunity levels

170,000 healthcare professionals included in project, after previous study revealed that only 6% of Catalans have had Covid-19

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18 May 2020 01:58 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan government has announced several studies of Covid-19 immunity levels in Catalonia, to get an estimation of how many people have had the disease.

The project involves doing one million serologic tests, including testing 170,000 healthcare professionals across the country.

People working in non-healthcare essential services – such as police officers, people diagnosed with Covid-19 without a PCR test, and people with symptoms who were never tested will be among the project’s targets.

The initiative is the result of a research project led by Hospital Clínic's microbiology and immunology services, along with the collaboration of researchers in IDIBAPS, ISGlobal and CRG.

For the study, Clínic hospital will be joined by Vall d'Hebron, Trueta, Arnau de Vilanova, Joan XXIII, Sant Pau, Hospital del Mar, Bellvitge and Germans Trias i Pujol hospitals, as well as Consorci Sanitari Parc Taulí, CLI-Lab Diagnostics, CatLab and Fundació Althaia.

The first results of another study being carried out by the Spanish government revealed that around 6% of the Catalan population has already overcome the virus, rising to 7.1% in the Barcelona area.

Up to 17,000 PCR tests a day

In parallel, the Catalan health department also announced that it is from now guaranteeing all PCR tests needed to identify promptly new cases so that a new outbreak is avoided.

It is thought that between 13,000 and 15,000 tests are needed daily at this stage of de-escalation, with current capacity at 17,000 tests per day, according to authorities. In the coming three or four weeks the total capacity is expected to "grow considerably."

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  • A scientist at the CRG prepares test tubes for sampling in care homes as part of the Orpheus Program, May 7, 2020 (by Laura Fíguls)

  • A scientist at the CRG prepares test tubes for sampling in care homes as part of the Orpheus Program, May 7, 2020 (by Laura Fíguls)

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