Madrid pharmacists defend their ability to perform Covid-19 tests

New success for the Community of Madrid against the central government. First, the EU surrenders to Isabel Díaz Ayuso and now recommends doing the antigen tests that the autonomy has been doing for weeks. But it is also that Health has accepted that these tests be done in pharmacies, as requested by the president. Here you can check the most important news of the day:

Madrid pharmacists defend their ability to perform Covid-19 tests

The Official College of Pharmacists of Madrid has assured this Wednesday that “they are trained” to perform the Covid-19 tests with total “safety.”

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has asked the autonomous communities in the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS) that those who want to test for Covid-19 in pharmacies, as requested by the Community of Madrid, present you with a detailed plan.

The member of Dermopharmacy and Health Products of the Official College of Pharmacists of Madrid, Rosalía Gozalo, has indicated that “they are trained” because “pharmacists were the first health professionals to be authorized in Spain to perform analytical tests because our university training includes a great wealth of training in instrumental and analytical techniques that cover all kinds of tests, much more complex than these tests ».

Likewise, Gozalo has explained that just as they do other types of controls such as glucose, they could carry out these tests with “security”, in “differentiated spaces adapted to protocols where they guarantee privacy” and then maintain a follow-up with Health of positive cases through the «network».

«We are authenticated users and we have the ability to identify the user through the health card. The traceability of the data is essential and we can guarantee it “, highlighted the member of Dermopharmacy and Health Products of the Official College of Pharmacists of Madrid.

In addition, Gozalo believes that it is “a necessity with the epidemiological situation that we have at the moment” to “unload care pressure on the National Health System” and has asserted that “all health workers have to collaborate in the detection to be able to isolate and stop contagions ».

“Right now we are a health resource that cannot be despised in the way it is being done, because it is an emergency need,” he declared.

On the other hand, he considers that it is a “demand of society” since citizens would go more to pharmacies because of “accessibility, fear of going to health centers”, as well as because of the “extended hours”.

“We are health reference points for all users, we are credibility, trust, closeness and we are immediacy. It is a spectacular capillarity, in Spain we are 22,000 points, although logically, not all pharmacies will have that capacity or will have that structure prepared, “he concluded.
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Health asks CCAA to present a detailed plan if they want to do tests in pharmacies

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has asked the autonomous communities, within the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS), which has been held in Extremadura by video call, that those who want to test for Covid-19 in pharmacies, as requested by the Community of Madrid, present a detailed plan.

This plan, according to sources familiar with the meeting informed Europa Press, must include aspects related to personnel, means, personal protective equipment, records and facilities in the pharmacy offices so that they can properly carry out the coronavirus detection tests.

Therefore, the minister has not refused that these tests can be carried out in pharmacies, although he has warned that it is a technical debate in which there are legal reservations and professional groups.

«The Ministry recognizes the very good and meritorious work carried out by the pharmacy offices, which are key in the health system and, without refusing to increase their key participation, I have asked the communities that want to use them to carry out Covid-19 tests to send us a plan in which they explain what to do and how they want to do it, “said Illa at a press conference.

In addition, the minister has highlighted the importance of communities specifying the types of tests that they intend to be carried out in pharmacies, and the security measures that they are going to implement, such as separate circuits for people with Covid-19 and without Covid-19. “These are details that are important to know,” he said.

The performance of antigen tests in pharmacies has been demanded both by the Government of the Community of Madrid and by the Catalan Government, who have defended the professionalism of the pharmaceutical staff to carry it out despite the reluctance on the part of groups such as the Nursing or Public Health experts.

The vice president of the Community, Ignacio Aguado, announced last Monday the intention to propose to the head of Health, Salvador Illa, a meeting of the Covid-19 Group to address this possibility, something to which the minister was open but without setting a date for it.

This group was created as a coordinating body between the central and regional governments to address weekly the measures to be adopted to address the second wave of Covid-19. At the meeting held on October 27, it was agreed that the meetings would have a more technical nature, although with the possibility of resuming appointments “when the epidemiological situation requires it.”

The regional government of Isabel Díaz Ayuso has insisted on many occasions on the request that antigen tests can be done in the pharmacies of the Community of Madrid, which has a network of more than 2,800 stores of this type, and has defended that its “professionals are trained, guarantee safety and hygiene and the results can be communicated to the Madrid Health System.”

In this framework, the regional government has pointed to massive tests and rapid diagnosis as key factors in the management of this second wave regarding the incidence of Covid-19 in the Community of Madrid, where more than 3 have been carried out million tests since this pandemic began, with an average of 190,000 weekly.

The objective of this initiative, as explained by Vice President Aguado on Tuesday, is that before Christmas all Madrilenians can take a free antigen test to go see their relatives.

An approach whose viability has been questioned from the regional government itself. The Minister of Health, Enrique Ruiz Escudero, has admitted the complexity of carrying out these tests to 6.5 million people from Madrid.

The regional government, which has invested heavily in the acquisition of this type of test, has carried out several initiatives at both European and national level to obtain authorization for this form of testing. Thus, Ayuso herself requested it by letter to the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, while at the beginning of the month the general director of Inspection and Health Management, Elena Mantilla, sent another letter with this request to the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS), a body dependent on the Ministry of Health.

Among other arguments, the Madrid executive has recalled that coronavirus tests in pharmacies are already used in European countries such as France, Portugal and the United Kingdom, as well as in other consolidated health systems, such as the United States, Australia or Canada.

Illa insists that the rate of Covid-19 tests being carried out in Spain is “very high”

The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, has ensured that the rate of Covid-19 tests being carried out in Spain is one of the “highest” in Europe, and has indicated that the fourth wave of the seroprevalence study will be the one that reflects the percentage of Covid-19 cases that are being detected in Spain.

Illa has spoken like this after the meeting of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System (CISNS), and in which the Minister of Territorial Policy and Public Function, Carolina Darias, has also participated.

“The more diagnostic tests we carry out, the better it will be, but it is important to do them well and by qualified personnel when administering any type of test, in the spaces necessary to perform them and to those who need it,” he said.

Since last November 8 and until the 11th, 1,122,905 Covid-19 tests have been carried out in Spain, of which 794,593 have been PCR tests and 328,312 antigen tests, with a positivity rate of 12.19 percent. In addition, 75,149 tests were performed on November 15, with a positivity rate of 10.35 percent.

“These are tests carried out by qualified health personnel, tests carried out with a very high diagnostic quality,” insisted the Minister of Health, to emphasize that it will be the results of the fourth wave of the seroprevalence study that will tell the percentage of infected in Spain that are being detected, and that in the first wave stood at 10 percent.

Asturias extends the closure of shops, hotels and all non-essential activities for another fifteen days

The Government of the Principality of Asturias has decided to extend the resolution of November 3, 2020 of the Ministry of Health for another 15 days, which establishes the closure of all non-essential activity in the autonomous community, including commerce and hospitality.

The Asturian Government Health Minister, Pablo Fernández, signs the resolution of the extension, extending the closings until next December 3 at 24 hours, without prejudice to the fact that the measure can be extended again.

However, the resolution indicates that the measures will be subject to continuous monitoring and evaluation. “In particular, the measures affecting retail trade may be modified or terminated, depending on the epidemiological situation, within a period of no more than seven days,” says the new rule, consulted by Europa Press.

The Government justifies the extension in the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic in Asturias, given that the epidemiological situation since November 2 «has continued to worsen with a significant increase, both in the total number of cases and in the accumulated incidents to 7 and 14 days ».

According to Health in the foundations of law, it is something that has also occurred in the population over 65 years of age, although “it seems that in this age group there could be a not so marked increase.”