The Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, through the General Directorate of Public Health, has launched the genomic surveillance network for Covid-19 in the Canary Islands, which includes a protocolized system for detection, monitoring and control of the presence of the different variants of SARS-Cov2 in the Islands.
The Microbiology Service of the Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria currently will be the reference laboratory of this network genomic surveillance system that will include all microbiology laboratories that perform diagnostic tests for the SARS-Cov2 virus. In this way, it will be possible to have a real X-ray of the incidence of the different strains of the virus in the Archipelago.
To do this, two types of controls: random and planned. In the first case, on a regular basis the laboratories of the hospitals in each of the islands will send up to 10% of the positive samples for genomic sequencing with the objective of determining the present variants and incidence in each one of the islands.
The planned control will be determined by Public Health specifically, taking into account situations of epidemiological follow-up interest, for example, origin of those affected from certain geographical areas; You want to study an outbreak that has had a high rate of secondary infections that are unusually high, when there are cases of reinfection or if a probable vaccine failure is detected according to pharmaceutical criteria. These cases, which will be determined by Public Health, will also be analyzed to see their possible relationship with any strain.
With the start-up of this Canary Islands Genomic Surveillance Network, the criteria and protocols for monitoring the data registered in the Islands will be unified, which will be uploaded and computerized in the unified registry network. Likewise, This system will facilitate the submission of epidemiological monitoring data to the Ministry of Health.
With respect to the data available so far, of the 1,100 positive samples processed by genomic sequencing in the Microbiology service of the Hospital Universitario Nuestra Señora de Candelaria from December 18 to the beginning of March, a 18% of them correspond to the British variant (B.1.1.7).
With respect to Brazilian variant (classified as P.1 and P.2), only twelve cases have been reported, nine of them already reported corresponding to samples sent by the Dr. Negrín University Hospital of Gran Canaria and sequenced at FISABIO, Valencia, linked to an in-hospital outbreak in December 2020 and already closed; and four others, with samples sequenced at the Nuestra Señora de Candelaria University Hospital, also sent at the end of January, three of them linked to a family outbreak and another isolated case, also already closed.
Likewise also at the end of January, a South African variant case was reported, already resolved in a person belonging to the group of students who came from the African continent. In both situations, they have been isolated cases and in which there has been no community transmission among the population of the islands.