MADRID wants all 6.7 million of its residents to take a free coronavirus antibody test before Christmas.
Regional leader Isabel Ayuso’s plan is for the central Government to allow Madrid to perform the tests in every pharmacy in the autonomous community.
But the Ministry of Health has so far been against the idea, saying that antibody testing should be supervised by health experts.
In fact her proposal has already been rejected by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Health Products.
But Ayuso placed extra pressure on Pedro Sanchez’s Government by addressing the EU today.
In a letter sent to president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, Ayuso said her plan wants to use pharmacies ‘because their professionals are trained, they guarantee safety and hygiene and the results can be put into the Madrid Health System.’
The Partido Popular leader added that testing in pharmacies is already carried out in France, Portugal and the UK.
“Currently, the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products does not allow us to use these centres,” she wrote in the letter.
“That is why I would consider it useful if a European authority could validate this new form of testing, not only in Spain but also for the rest of the European regions.”
Vice President of Madrid Ignacio Aguado demanded a meeting of the COVID Group, a meeting of the Madrid and central governments, to discuss the plan.
National Minister of Health Salvador Illa promised to hold the meeting but a date has yet to be set.
“It is essential in the coming days to be able to do tests in pharmacies,” Illa said in a La Sexta interview, in an apparent turn around.
“The strategy of mass testing is working. In those places where massive tests are carried out, the curve is being controlled. Madrid is one of those regions.”
It suggests the central Government is open to replicating testing in pharmacies to the rest of Spain.