SOROCABA – People with symptoms of the disease and limited mobility receive teams at home for testing covid-19, in Botucatu, in the interior of São Paulo. Home care is part of a partnership between the city hall and the molecular biology laboratory at the blood center of the Hospital das Clínicas of the Faculty of Medicine of Botucatu (HCFMB), linked to the Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp), to carry out tests in mass for the new coronavirus.

Until this Wednesday, 29, 256 tests had been done and 12 were positive. The city has 53 confirmed cases and four deaths from the disease. The work began two weeks ago with tests on patients with severe conditions, hospitalized in the local HC or in private hospitals, and even on health professionals with flu-like symptoms.

Now, diagnostics are also being offered to people with mild flu-like symptoms who are at home. A central triage of cases, according to the Municipal Secretary of Health, André Spadaro.

Collection of samples for tests of covid-19 in Botucatu

Photo: Botucatu City Hall / publicity / Estadão

“We are making the tests available initially to people who have symptoms suggestive of covid-19, between the third day of onset, until the seventh day of symptoms. This is the period when the test employed, the RT-PCR, shows the most reliable results “, said.

To be treated, the resident of Botucatu with symptoms of fever, cough, difficulty breathing, muscle pain, runny nose and loss of smell or taste just need to call the central coronavirus in the city. If the condition is suspicious, the central regulator will contact you to schedule the collection, which takes place within 24 hours, at five municipal stations or, if applicable, at the patient’s home. According to Spadaro, the tests help to identify the cases and reinforce the measures of social isolation, reducing the speed of transmission of the virus. They also reduce underreporting.


Three teams are collecting for home examinations, with priority for the elderly, bedridden and other people with reduced mobility. “On the day of collection, the nurse or doctor who accompanies the team makes a quick screening to assess possible signs of severity, measuring temperature, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, for example,” explained the secretary. According to him, there have been cases in which the patient provided material and was referred to a hospital.

The collection is done with the introduction of a swab with a flexible rod in each nostril and in the patient’s throat. Being a suspected case, he is informed about the obligation to remain in isolation for 14 days and signs a term of responsibility. The test result comes out on the same day. If the result is positive, the people in the house are sent to the 14-day quarantine. According to Spadaro, the application of the tests also makes it possible to know the areas of the city with the most cases of the covid-19 and guides the control actions of the city hall.

The HCFMB blood center laboratory is accredited by the State Department of Health to carry out diagnostic tests for covid-19. Exams do not need official laboratory proof. According to the infectologist and HC professor, Carlos Magno Fortaleza, the rapid identification and isolation of those infected with the covid-19 and the people who live with them are essential to reduce the impact of the pandemic.

“This strategy of mass testing is intended to aggregate everything that was positive in several countries. This is an important effort to fight the disease and places the city at the forefront of this fight,” he said.

See too:

From walker, 99-year-old war veteran raises millions for British public health