A NURSE from the vaccination team who began administering immunisations on Sunday at the Balafia I residence in Lleida has tested positive for coronavirus.

The four colleagues of the immunization team have been isolated and the Generalitat has placed the 66 users of the centre in preventive quarantine.

The Generalitat has started PCR screening on all the workers and residents of the centre.

As confirmed by EL PAIS, the nurse on the vaccination team tested positive on Monday, just 24 hours after administration vaccinations against COVID-19 at the residential centre.

Sources from the Department of Health indicate that the risk of contagion with the users is minimal, as the health team was properly protected – with gowns, gloves and a double mask – and they were not in contact with the residents for more than 15 minutes (the time stipulated by medical protocols to be considered ‘close contacts’ for a positive).

The Catalan health department has, however, confirmed that they have not done any diagnostic tests prior to the start of the vaccination to the more than 2,000 nurses who participate in the mass immunization programme.

According to a health spokesperson, the nurses are active professionals who follow the protocols of their respective health centres, where diagnostic tests are carried out periodically.

However, in the case of the infected nurse, the health department has not specified in which health centre she works or when she was last tested.

Manel Cervantes, head of Infectious Diseases at the Parc Tauli Hospital in Sabadell, has called for calm.

“I wouldn’t worry about it at all,” he said. “all the nurses were wearing correct protection, and contact with each patient was less than a minute.”

Furthermore, the doctor rejects preventive diagnostic tests as a necessary measure before vaccination.

According to Cervantes, within 48 hours of being infected only 20% of cases are detected by PCR.

“So even if a PCR result is negative, it can’t be trusted,” he said.

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