Politics 10/02/2021

Illa admits he refused to take the PCR test requested before TV3 debate: "The protocols do not advise it".

The rest of the candidates underwent a test or accredited having done one shortly beforehand

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Salvador Illa this noon.

Socialist candidate, Salvador Illa, admitted today that he refused to take the PCR test and the antigen test that was requested from all candidates before starting the TV3 debate as advanced by Nació Digital. In a talk at Fòrum Europa Tribuna de Catalunya, Illa explained that he refused to take the tests because "the sanitary protocols do not advise PCR tests in this context and with these conditions". As for the rest of the candidates, four of them accredited that they had recently taken a test and that, therefore, they no longer needed it, while the other four passed the tests in the medical services of the television channel, reports Àlex Gutiérrez. Therefore, Illa was the only one who did not take a test, neither at TV3 nor beforehand.

"The debate met the security measures, there was a distance of two meters, we wore masks in the moments when we could not keep this distance, all protocols were met," argued Illa: "I take PCRs and antigen tests following health recommendations". Illa recalled that morning he was interviewed on TV3 and was not asked for a PCR or antigen test. "Why do I have to do it in the afternoon and not in the morning?" he questioned. "The PCR test has to be done with a protocol, it is not a whim, and the first thing I have to do is to be consistent with what I have defended when I was Minister of Health," he has maintained: "If they have to be done, they are done; but not otherwise. The health authorities do not recommend it in these conditions"

On whether he should have taken the test even if it was only to set an example, Illa has responded that he does not act according to "questions of image" but according to "what has to be done". "What has to be done is to lead by example," he said. "There is no excess of PCR tests and antigen tests," he said. PCR and antigen tests have been used to identify cases of people who have symptoms or have been in close contact with positive cases, but also for mass screening or to detect asymptomatic positives.