From the beginning of the crisis and until April 13, the total number of PCR carried out in Spain is 930,230.
"This increase in capacity has been possible thanks to the work carried out by the Carlos III Health Institute, which has validated 8 new research centers and universities, and there are already 13 centers validated to carry out PCR, as well as the effort of the autonomous communities" Illa has emphasized. To this figure we must add the two million rapid tests already distributed throughout the territory and another three million that will be delivered in the coming days.
The Minister of Health has emphasized that "PCR tests are the cornerstone of the diagnostic strategy, here and in other countries" but he clarified that "in a complementary way, we are using rapid diagnostic tests for the detection of antibodies because with their use we are able to expand the diagnostic capacity. "
These rapid tests allow the positive cases to be screened in high-prevalence groups in a fast and safe way and, globally, it is possible to increase the ability to diagnose citizens by means of PCR. Salvador Illa highlighted in Congress the work carried out by Primary Care professionals during the pandemic: "They have reorganized to attend to mild cases at home and actively follow the most vulnerable people by phone, taking care of their health and avoiding complications requiring income. "
"Through his work," he added, "in addition to treating minor cases, it has prevented the worsening of COVID-19 and other pathologies, which has protected people's health and prevented many hospital admissions." And, he insisted: "It is the best level capable of reaching the entire population in an equitable and preventive way and ordering coordination within the Public Health more efficiently." Therefore, their work to emerge from the pandemic will also be important.
Advances in scientific research
Regarding advances in scientific research, the minister recalled that "it is a priority issue for the Government because we are fully aware that the definitive victory over the virus will come from his hand." Thus, he explained that so far the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS) has authorized 32 clinical trials with drugs to treat more than 26,000 people in different hospitals throughout the territory. Furthermore, the AEMPS is part of the WHO "Solidarity" trial, which will treat more than 100,000 patients worldwide.
And, on the other hand, this body has classified 42 observational studies with drugs, that is, research that collects health data from patients in order to analyze the use, safety or effectiveness of drugs in the context of real healthcare, in real time, and without intervening in clinical practice.
To this is added that, jointly with the Ministry of Science and through the Carlos III Health InstituteTo date, more than 1,300 projects have already been received and are being evaluated to access the COVID19 Fund. During the last week, four other projects have been approved, bringing to a total of 15 ongoing projects for an amount of 4.6 million euros. They are projects aimed at finding new treatments for prevention in different phases of the disease, as well as new diagnostic techniques to favor its massive extension to the entire National Health System.
Salvador Illa has stopped in his speech on the advances that have occurred in Spain regarding vaccines: "The National Center for Biotechnology, of the Superior Council of Scientific Investigations, works on two projects that are already on the list of candidates for vaccines against COVID-19 of the World Health Organization; Both, which are showing promise in animal trials, are exploring two different pathways to elicit an immune response that protects against infection, increasing the likelihood of having either of them in human clinical trials. "
Strengthen the strengths of the SNS
The Minister of Health made a reflection at the end of his speech regarding the obligation to learn from this crisis and take advantage of the lessons learned to strengthen the National Health System in the following phases. Thus, he pointed out that it is necessary to strengthen strengths such as coordination between levels, depending on the health needs of the population, the integration of the home within the health care network or the use of technologies for non-face-to-face monitoring of patients and families.
In addition, it has underlined, along the same lines, education for the health of citizens or the necessary socio-sanitary collaboration, especially in the most vulnerable people.