Catalan Ministry of Health intensifies mass COVID-19 screening, performing over 21,000 PCR tests across the region

The Catalan Ministry of Health has performed a total of 21,216 PCR tests* in intensive COVID-19 screening campaigns across Catalonia. The testing programme has detected a total of 513 asymptomatic positive cases (2.41% of those tested). Early detection of positive cases and their subsequent isolation are key to reducing community transmission.

In Santa Coloma de Gramenet, mass screening was conducted on 10–14 and 17–18 August, and a total of 3,888 PCR tests were performed; 4.2% of the tests were positive and 160 asymptomatic cases were detected.

In Barcelona, 1,541 PCR tests were performed on 17–19 August in the neighbourhoods of El Besòs and El Maresme; 2.21% were positive (34 cases).

Intensive screening (835 PCR tests) was also performed in the neighbourhood of Torre Baró, where 2.75% of subjects (23 individuals) tested positive for COVID-19.

In Sabadell, 1,230 PCR tests were performed on 18–19 August in the neighbourhood of Ca n’Oriac. Screening in the city led to the diagnosis of over 20 infected individuals with no apparent symptoms. In total, 4,452 PCR tests have been performed in neighbourhoods in Sabadell, and 1.59% came back positive (71 cases).

On 18–20 August, intensive screening was conducted in the town of Benifallet (province of Tarragona); 648 PCR tests were performed and two cases of COVID-19 were detected.

Intensive screening of a basic health area was also performed in the town of Vilafranca del Penedès (capital of the county of Alt Penedès) from 10 to 14 August; 3,022 PCR tests were performed, and 0.53% were positive for COVID-19 (16 cases).

Mass screening in the city of Terrassa was conducted from 7 to 10 August; 3,448 PCR tests were performed, and 0.87% came back positive (30 cases).

Screening was also conducted in Ripollet, Granollers and Torregrossa. In Ripollet, 2,176 PCR tests were performed over three days and 0.60% were positive (13 cases); in Granollers, 1,053 tests were performed and 10.26% came back positive (108 cases); and in Torregrossa, 153 tests were performed and 3.27% were positive (five cases).

PCR testing campaigns launched in other areas

Municipalities throughout Catalonia have launched intensive screening campaigns to detect asymptomatic cases and break chains of infection.

All of the campaigns under way are possible thanks to the leadership provided by the primary care and epidemiological surveillance systems, the collaboration of professionals in hospitals, the emergency medical system, and the support of city councils and local entities. The participation and involvement of citizens around Catalonia is also playing a key role in efforts to contain COVID-19 and prevent the spread of the disease.


* Data are provisional and subject to change.