Argentina began this Friday the first stage of a serological study, which allows the detection of COVID-19 antibodies, with a device at the Constitución train station, in Buenos Aires, in which 400 tests will be carried out, which will result in 20 minutes.
The undersecretary of Medicines and Strategic Information of the Ministry of Health, Sonia Tarragona, reported in today’s morning data report that these tests do not constitute “a diagnostic study”, but will serve “to identify whether or not they have had contact with the virus more than 20 days ago. “
“It is not to make a diagnosis, a positive would give us good news, it means that people have been in contact with the virus and have passed it without difficulties, without requiring contact with the health system,” he assured.
ANONYMOUS AND VOLUNTARY EVIDENCE
The tests will be anonymous and will be carried out on volunteers, of legal age and without symptoms, who will have a drop of blood removed from their finger that will allow the results to be known in a period of between 15 and 20 minutes.
Tarragona clarified that the result “does not generate any action to put anyone in quarantine or remove anyone from circulation.”
In this first day the device will remain until the 400 tests arranged for today are carried out, and with them it will be possible “only to know what proportion of the population that handles public transport and transits from there to the city of Buenos Aires has been in contact with the virus. “
Next week the study will be expanded to the Retiro and Once train stations, two of the main ones in Buenos Aires, and “depending on what the authorities determine” it will be taken to other cities and provinces of the country.
“As is happening in the rest of the world, in Argentina we do not know what the viral circulation has been,” said Tarragona.
The Ministry of Health has a total of 170,000 serological tests, informed the secretary of Access to Health, Carla Vizzotti.
NEW DATA ON THE PANDEMIC
According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, 3,435 confirmed cases have been recorded in the country since the start of the pandemic, with 147 positives in the last 24 hours, while the number of deceased rises to 167 after the 8 deaths confirmed since yesterday.
Of the 3,435 cases, 50% are women and 50% are men, and the affected age ranges of the registered cases correspond to people between 20 and 59 years old, the average age being 44 years.
As for the deceased, the average age is 73 years and 67% are men.
Regarding the confirmed infected, 875 (25.5%) are imported, 1,490 (43.4%) are close contacts of confirmed cases, 722 (21%) are cases of community circulation and the rest are under epidemiological investigation.
According to Vizzotti, these figures reflect that the country “is transiting” from a phase where the majority of the infected were imported to another with the predominance of “cases with close or community contact”.
The Secretary for Access to Health presented the geographical distribution of the virus, which spreads unevenly, since “70% of the country’s departments do not have confirmed cases”, although 50% of the population lives in departments where it does cases were reported.
In this sense, the national government today officialized a measure through the Official Gazette that allows the provinces of San Juan, Misiones, Neuquén, Santa Cruz, Entre Ríos, Salta, Mendoza, La Pampa, and Jujuy to develop private works, except for this activity of the mandatory social isolation decree that has been in force since March 20 and which, although it expires next Monday, the Government is already analyzing extending.
Also in these provinces the “exercise of liberal professions” will be allowed.
This exception “is subject to the implementation and compliance with the health protocols established by each jurisdiction, in compliance with the health and safety recommendations and instructions of the national authorities.”