Week by week a pattern is repeated in the number of daily tests reported by the National Emergency System (Sinae) each day: Monday is the day with the least amount of analysis processed. In the week of January 11 to 17, for example, 4,933 tests were reported while the rest of the days more than 7,000 were processed. Friday was the day with the most number of tests that week, with 8,792 tests.
The same happened between January 4 and 10, when that Monday 5,038 were reported and the rest of the days they exceeded 6,000. This week seems to be heading towards the same trend, because this Monday 4,470 analyzes were carried out and on Tuesday the number increased to 6,396.
Those involved in the process do not find a single reason why there is a drop on Mondays, however, the mathematician of the Honorary Scientific Advisory Group (GACH), María Inés Fariello, explained that fluctuations in the amount of daily analyzes are seen in «All« countries »and adds:« It has to do with the whole set, from the consultation, the coordination of the test, obtaining the result and then reporting the result to the Ministry of Public Health (MSP) ». Although there are several reasons, most point to the fact that the day before the report, that is, Sundays, there is a decrease in the activity of both laboratory personnel and commercial activities that require swabs.
At the end of December, the mutualists agreed that there were delays in the coordination of swabs because the increase in infections was putting the finite resources of the health system to the limit, which suffered when coordinating the tests due to the overload of demand for tests of diagnosis, both in ASSE and in private providers.
However, the president of the Federation of Medical Providers of the Interior, Carlos Cardoso told El Observador that now « there are no delays in the preclinical stage or in the analytical part, » according to the reports of the mutuals but that the decrease in the amount of processed tests may be due to the fact that fewer samples are taken on Sundays « for multiple causes » that are not fully defined.
MSP sources also agreed that on Sundays fewer samples are taken by laboratories and fewer contacts are tracked and, therefore, that ends up influencing the number of tests that Sinae reports on Mondays.
For his part, Juan Andrés Abin, director of ATGen, one of the private laboratories that processes the most number of COVID-19 analyzes per day and which has several laboratories scattered throughout the country, explained that on Sundays « practically everything goes down. »
ATGen has laboratories in areas such as Rivera, Chuy, Punta del Este and Montevideo, as well as taking samples both at home and in self-tests. In this sense, Abin pointed out that on Sundays swabs are not carried out in self-tests, but they are done at home, although he explained that the fact that the self-tests do not work on Sundays « surely are people who swab on Saturday or Monday », because on Sundays there is no saturation of demand.
This may be due, according to the ATGen director, to the fact that, for example, fewer trucks pass through the border on Sundays than they require a swab to enter and the mutuals send fewer samples to process that day. Therefore, he concluded, « it is quite logical that less samples are processed on Monday. »