Catalonia continued on Thursday an intensive screening campaign for the coronavirus, sometimes door-to-door, in three cities in order to curb the rise in contagions that threaten this region of northeastern Spain, one of the most affected by the pandemic.
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A hundred people thronged Thursday in front of an emergency medical center set up in Ripollet, north of Barcelona, to get tested for free for COVID-19.
“I’m fine, but it’s a question of responsibility, because you don’t know if you have it or not,” Paquita Can, a 74-year-old retiree, told AFPTV.
In certain districts of this city of 40,000 inhabitants, screenings are carried out door-to-door, “based on the geolocation of cases,” the region announced in a statement on Wednesday.
The objective of the campaign which started on Tuesday “is to identify asymptomatic patients”, who represent almost 60% of cases in Spain, and “who can cause the transmission of the disease”, explained Anna Aran, head of the program at the regional health authority.
The same strategy has been deployed in two nearby towns, Sabadell and Terrassa, where “the rate of coronavirus contagion has increased”, the local government said.
In front of the yellow inflatable tent of the Ripollet emergency center, Tatiana Palomares, 27, had come with a large part of her family. “We must leave Catalonia to visit the elderly (…) if the test is positive, then we will not move from here”, she said.
Catalonia has known for several weeks a resurgence of contagions which has led the regional authorities to reconfigure certain areas and to strengthen health measures.
Several European countries such as France and Belgium have advised against traveling to this region, which has nearly a third (27%) of the more than 300,000 cases recorded until Wednesday by the Ministry of Health.