November 26, 2020

Coronavirus in the Canary Islands: Gran Canaria surpasses Tenerife as the island with the most active cases of Covid – La Provincia


Gran Canaria has become the island with the most active cases by coronavirus Canary Islands, according to the last count made by the Ministry of Health of the Canary Islands Government. Based on this latest report, there are 135 people currently suffering from the disease, which represents a notable increase compared to the latest data available.

At 2:00 p.m. this Friday, Gran Canaria had 135 active cases of coronavirus for a total of 758 positives since the pandemic began, which has meant a increase of 47 people compared to the latest data of the Ministry. In this way, the island has surpassed Tenerife, which has 95 active cases to date.

Canary Islands has registered 55 new coronavirus positives in the last hours, so at 2:00 p.m. this Friday there is 259 active cases in the Archipelago that has had 2,803 positives throughout the pandemic.

Currently, of the infected, 17 are admitted to the hospital ward and one to the ICU. The remaining 251 receive home care, the majority are asymptomatic or with very mild symptoms.

According to the data collected by the Health website, the town with the most active cases at the moment in the Archipelago is The Gran Canarian palms with 94, followed by La Laguna with 38 and Santa Cruz de Tenerife with 28.

The Islands, among the regions that detect the most asymptomatic

The Canary Islands is the third Spanish region with the most asymptomatic diagnosed. Almost seven out of ten people to whom the coronavirus test confirms their contagion, have not had any indication that they could be suffering from the disease and up to 16% say they have not had any known contact that could have transmitted it.

This is what the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) in its latest report on the epidemiological situation of Covid-19 in Spain -which dates back to July 31-, where it is also found that the Canary Islands have been the region with the lowest incidence of coronavirus so far along with Asturias, both with a cumulative incidence of 2.1 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In Spain, the average incidence is 26.2 diagnosed per 100,000 inhabitants, with Catalonia (65.6) and Aragon (166.8) being the most affected.

Canary Islands identifies the best type of Covid-19 diagnostic test on the market

A group of researchers from the La Candelaria Hospital They have found the best type of diagnostic PCR test for Covid-19. The team, led by the microbiologist responsible for the Research Unit of the hospital center, Julia Alcoba, has compared up to eight of the diagnostic kits available on the market to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2 genetic material in the organism of a patient, and have concluded that only two of them give reliable results more than 90% of the time. The rest give false negatives in up to 40% of cases, which, in the long term, can spoil control of the epidemic.

“Some are useless”, Alcoba sentence, which affirms that it was necessary to carry out a study on the sensitivity of PCR to try to supply the Canary Islands with the best resources for the coming months. And is that the global shortage, together with the emergency situation, forced many commercial houses to develop specific reactive substances to identify this new virus with unusual speed. “Many commercial houses brought out their own kits,” recalls Alcoba, who affirms that the Hospital de La Candelaria – which received a large part of the coronavirus samples from the Canary Islands – had almost a dozen different reagents. And is that the emergency situation, global shortages and logistics problems forced the Canary Islands Health Service (SCS) to acquire commercial kits that had not been previously tested and, therefore, to ignore how many positives in Covid-19 could be overlooking. “Every so often we had a different kit on the table and we did what we could with what we had,” recalls Carlos Flores, a scientist at the Research Unit of La Candelaria Hospital and the Technological Institute and Renewable Energies (ITER), who insisted that this study is essential to prepare the autonomous community for a future contingency in which SARS-CoV-2 is again the protagonist.

Each commercially available reagent is specifically created to find a different region of the genetic material of the virus. In this way, when the sample contains that part of the virus, it multiplies it thousands of times until it comes out of hiding in order to identify it. In this massive replication, the commercial kit may have been designed to find the virus through its E gene -which is common in all coronaviruses- or its RdRp gene -which houses the enzyme responsible for the multiplication of the viral genome-, among others. In this case, “the best results were obtained with the one who recommended the World Health Organization (WHO) and Roche’s for the E gene, “says Alcoba.

This study contributes to influencing a fundamental fact to face the epidemic: “we must control the impact of false negatives in the diagnosis of Covid-19 to put an end to possible outbreaks and community transmission.” To do this, the materials used to perform PCR must be evaluated from time to time, since, although in a moderate way, the virus that causes Covid-19 has shown to have the ability to change a fundamental part of its genetic material from time to time. And although sometimes these mutations are imperceptible and do not modify their functional characteristics at all; Others may cause the virus to replicate more, or may even help you evade these police controls that we have forced you to pass: diagnostic tests.

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