Politics 12/02/2021

The antigen tests and PCR tests that people take without symptoms or having been in close contact with an infected person

Salvador Illa refused to take one in the debates arguing that they were a "privilege".

2 min
The PSC candidate for the presidency of the Generalitat, Salvador Illa

BarcelonaSalvador Illa will only take a PCR or antigen test if he has symptoms of covid or is in close contact with a positive. It has become clear after his double refusal to be tested during the debates on TV3 and La Sexta . The socialist candidate argues that he strictly follows the protocol set by the Department of Health, and even went so far as to qualify as a "privilege" that the rest of the candidates were tested. However, beyond the generic protocol set by the Government, there are multiple cases in which, in the public and private sector, PCR and antigen tests are carried out without the need for symptoms or contact with positives. The most paradigmatic these days is that of the members of the polling stations of February 14. It is a voluntary test, like at TV3 and La Sexta, which so far has been done approximately 30% of the nearly 82,000 people picked by lot to man the polling stations, as reported on Friday by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Bernat Solé. The tests are carried out by the primary care centers.

The staff of schools is another of the groups that, since the return of the Christmas holidays, resorted to PCRs to provide guarantees for the safety of the centers. Self-samples were collected from 112,377 people, 1,790 (1.59%) of whom tested positive. Again, testing was voluntary and 75% of staff participated. There is yet another outstanding example linked to the public sector: the mass screenings that have been carried out since the beginning of the pandemic in many Catalan towns. People from the village, neighbourhood or town where the screening was being carried out could go to the area set up to have their samples taken.

As for the private sphere, there are many companies that test their workers or people who are integrated into the workplace on a regular basis. Despite being a public television, TV3 is an example of this practice, as well as La Sexta. Mediapro has also chosen to carry out these tests to try to quickly isolate positives. This Friday the employers of small and medium enterprises, Pimec, announced a collaboration agreement with the Health Department according to which the Catalan administration will provide 85,000 rapid antigen tests. Pimec will be responsible for carrying them out in companies and industrial estates. This is not a new practice, as the Health Department had already signed a similar agreement with the employer Cecot.

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