The Ministry of Health starts the voluntary survey tomorrow to monitor the transmission of Covid-19 in the Canary Islands, and results obtained from this survey will allow community transmission of the virus to be monitored, identifying households that are virus free.
This is a study launched by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Carlos III Health Institute and the National Statistics Institute (INE), of 90,000 people in Spain, to better understand the characteristics of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is affecting health of the population.
The main objectives of the study are, on the one hand, to estimate the percentage of people who have been infected with COVID-19 so far in each province, autonomous community, and throughout the country, and on the other hand, to obtain information on the transmission of the virus between people, within homes and at a community level.
The results obtained from this survey, will allow community transmission of the virus to be monitored, identifying households that are free of the disease at first and its evolution over time, as well as subsequently incorporating a specific substudy of transmission within homes following the specific protocols established by the WHO.
“ALMOST 8,000 PARTICIPANTS IN THE CANARY ISLANDS”
The INE has selected a total sample of 90,000 people in Spain; In the Canary Islands, the study will be carried out, as long as 100% of those selected agree to participate, on 7,920 people.
By islands, the distribution is 2,040 people in Gran Canaria, 1,980 in Tenerife, 1,020 in Lanzarote, 960 in Fuerteventura, 720 in La Palma, 600 in La Gomera and 600 in El Hierro.
These 7,920 people correspond to 1,608 households in the province of Las Palmas (816 in Gran Canaria, 408 in Lanzarote and 384 in Fuerteventura), and 1,560 in the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (792 in Tenerife, 288 in La Palma, 240 in La Gomera and 240 in El Hierro).
The sample population that have been selected are encouraged by the Ministry of Health to participate in the study given the importance of the results, to address future decisions on the progressive return to normality after confinement and the state of alarm.
HOW WILL THE SURVEY BE CARRIED OUT?
The study plans to carry out a survey and a test to detect the presence of antibodies against COVID-19 in a representative sample of the population.
Both the survey and the antibody test will be repeated three weeks and six weeks after the first one, to see changes in the presence of antibodies.
For this, households in each province, a total of 36,000 throughout Spain, have been selected following strictly statistical criteria, who will be contacted by phone to inform them of the study, and if they are willing to participate, agree on the date for their first visit at a health centre or at home.
In addition, they will collect basic information about the characteristics of the home and about who currently lives in it, during the call.
“PARTICIPATION WILL BE VOLUNTARY”
Each person who agrees to participate, will be given a brief survey of about 30 questions to find out if they have been previously diagnosed with COVID-19, if they have or have had any symptoms, if they have any risk factors for developing COVID-19, or have had contact with any infected person.
In this first visit, the rapid antibody test will be performed on all those who agree to participate.
This test is performed with a finger prick and the results are obtained in about 15 minutes.
In addition, participants will be asked to give a blood sample, in order to be able to analyze it using more precise techniques for measuring antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.
Each participant will be given the result of the rapid test, along with general information on measures to prevent COVID-19 infection.
In 8 weeks the Ministry will have all results of the survey from all participants.
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