"We don't yet know how many rapid tests will arrive but they weren't able to assure that they would get here before Thursday." This was the statement from Catalan health minister Alba Vergés in a joint press conference this Monday on the situation and measures with regard to coronavirus in Catalonia. What she was able to assure, however, is where the priority would lie in the tests given: healthcare staff and senior citizens' residences.
Regarding the medical supplies, Vergés said that "we are working with different companies and we're not going to get into specific orders". "We are giving it everything we've got all so our professionals can have the material they need." In addition, she also wanted to point out that these are "exceptional" purchases. "Neighbouring countries have the same needs and it is complicated," she emphasized.
The "Stop Covid19 Cat" app
The minister also explained that 740,000 people have informed the Catalan health service of their state of health via the new Stop Covid19 Cat app. which allows Catalan residents to easily communicate their condition to the health authorities. "4,200 say they have serious symptoms of the virus and 107,000 have reported mild symptoms," she said. Serious cases are placed under surveillance.
Vergés also said that there was a team meeting between the hospitals of Igualada and Bellvitge to see "how the next stage of Igualada hospital care is to be tackled". The Igualada hospital is seriously affected by the local outbreak which caused a tight local lockdown to be applied to the central Catalonia area from March 11th.
She also emphasized, once again, that the recommendations made by the Catalan health ministry and the government "are very clear and that people should stay home."