In a massive antigen test administration activity that was organized since this morning in Bayamón, they had been detected 45 cases positive between 1,463 people during the first two hours of the event, for a positivity rate of just over 3%.
“Everyone has been contacted and their (result) sent by email or text message. All have been tracked or assigned to their municipalities and if they are from Bayamón, all their contacts have also been listed to call them and guide the person who must be kept in isolation until we call them again in three days, and follow up until they are cured “Said the municipal epidemiologist, Laura Ramirez Martinez, who explained that the activity had gathered people from towns as distant as Arecibo.
The 3% positivity rate in the first 1,463 tests performed was even lower than the figure obtained by Bayamón in the last weekly report from the Department of Health, where it was one of only four municipalities in the country below 10%.
The epidemiologist Fabiola Cruz, director of Municipal Investigation and Case Tracking System of the Department of Health, indicated that today in Bayamón they were ready to receive up to 10,000 people interested in taking the antigen test.
The antigen test is considered a diagnostic test because it detects the presence of the virus in the body, although it tends to yield more false negatives than the molecular test.
Despite the preliminary data obtained in the event, in general terms the country continues to be in the worst moment of the pandemic from a statistical perspective. Today the Department of Health reported 494 new confirmed cases of the virus, as well as 179 probable Y 370 suspects. They were also recorded 620 people hospitalized by Covid-19, 97 intensive patients Y 107 connected to fans, all very close to the record numbers that have been observed in recent weeks.
The doctor Carlos Santiago, who heads the municipal office of Health in Bayamón, specified that the activity, organized between the Health Department and the city hall, it was a good simulation of what the mass vaccination events would be in the coming months, particularly in relation to the use of technology to register and follow up on each person.
“The document that is filled out comes out with a code number and with that the person arrives at the vaccination area. We no longer have to fill out another paper, but see the code, identification, the vaccine is put on and it is registered (on the digital platform) ”, explained the doctor.
Monitoring will be essential for the administration of the vaccine, since both the product made by Pfizer/BioNTech such as Modern require a second dose, which is applied 21 and 28 days after the first, respectively. Pfizer’s vaccine already received an Emergency Use Authorization (US) this weekend, while it is expected that the Food and Drug Administration do the same with Moderna within the next week.
“The same system sends reminders of when it is time to take the second dose and in what place,” explained Cruz, adding that the initiative of the Department of Health, called Coviveo, to carry out massive Covid-19 testing events, has already impacted 38 municipalities in the past weeks.
On the other hand, the mayor of Bayamon, Ramon Luis Rivera Cruz, acknowledged that it is still waiting for what will happen with the remainder of the funds assigned to Puerto Rico by federal law Cares, which have made it possible to finance municipal tracking systems and whose validity expires at the end of the year.
“If after December 31 there were no more federal money, in our case we are going to keep the office, perhaps not at the size we have now, but we are going to keep it. Not only because of (Covid-19), but we have to understand that we live on a globe, where there is always going to be a virus and a disease is going to come. We are going to keep it long term, but it will depend on the size. There is a great possibility that the Cares funds will be extended, so we have that hope and if they extend them it gives us an additional window, “said Rivera Cruz.