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The postcards in the large testing centers, in the Detect devices and in the Emergency Febrile Units (UFU) of the Capital were very different today from those seen at the beginning of the month. There are no longer long lines or scenes of people camping out to get swabbed. In fact, spokesmen for the Buenos Aires Ministry of Health confirmed that the panorama changed: “As of January 10, due to a drop in demand, a decrease in the number of daily tests. This decrease occurs in similar percentages in the UFU and the Detect, accumulating 15% and 19% respectively with respect to 15 days ago. In the large testing centers the decrease is even greater″. And they added: “There are a lot of variables that reduce the number of susceptible people to be tested: people already infected, isolated or on vacation”. In turn, the changes in the swab criteria recommended by the national government, last Friday, for close contacts, who now only have to be isolated, also had an influence.

In fact, at noon in the UFU of the Francisco Santojanni Donation Hospital, in Liniers, there were so few people waiting to be tested that an employee replied “there is no one” to his colleagues who attended the reception of the center and vainly repeated: “next”. “Demand has dropped a lot”they said from there. “A few weeks ago 500 people came a day and we had to take people by bus to the Parque Roca sports center because we couldn’t keep up, but since Friday between 300 and 350 people have been coming. It has to do with the fact that people are already isolated and with a drop in the contagion curve,” they commented. In this place, on the 25th, a man who was unable to swab himself hit and insulted a doctor who worked at the UFU.

on device Detect which is located in Parque Sarmiento, in Saavedra, also received fewer people today. Employees of the place declared to THE NATION: “Last week, the line, at 8.30, reached Larralde.” That is, there was a queue of about 350 meters. Today at 9:30 there were barely more than twenty people. “In December, people came who when they saw the row, went directly home. There was a lot of tension, people got angry and fainted in the heat, but as of Thursday the flow of people began to drop”. The employees explained that the decrease could be due to the high level of contagion and isolation since many people are on vacation.

In the Detectar device of Parque Sarmiento, as of last Thursday they noticed a significant drop in attendance
In the Detectar device of Parque Sarmiento, as of last Thursday they noticed a significant drop in attendance Gerardo Viercovich

A The Rural, which works as a testing and vaccination center at the same time, only people who do not present symptoms with a previous shift should attend. According to sources from the Buenos Aires government, since the beginning of last month there was a daily average of 13,000 shifts, but 10 days ago it began to drop and today there are 8,000. “The demand for tests has dropped. For 10 days there have been more shifts available in all centers that require prior reservation and it is possible to get a place from one day to the next”, affirmed the employees of the center. And they added: “40% of the people came to swab themselves from the province of Buenos Aires and today the madness fell in the suburbs. In addition, many people came to be tested because they were leaving or coming on vacation.

“I had a shift at 10. It’s 10:08 and I’m already out. It was very fast because there are few people inside,” he said. Delfina Bejararo, 22 years old, at the gate of the property. “I knew about the new criteria, but I have symptoms since Friday and I want to know if I have or not,” he added.

In the UFU of the Ricardo Gutiérrez Children's Hospital, 100 people are treated per day on average
In the UFU of the Ricardo Gutiérrez Children’s Hospital, 100 people are treated per day on averageGerardo Viercovich

In the UFU of Children’s Hospital Dr. Ricardo Gutiérrez They only receive people up to 17 years of age with symptoms without a shift and they can be accompanied by an older person. Employees of the febrile unit said: “Normally we serve about 100 people a day, but today it is very quiet.” Romina Caceres She took her 6-year-old son for a swab because he had symptoms. “Everything went very fast. They told us that the result would be delivered to us in just 40 minutes.” Cristina Morandi She also went with her two-year-old daughter who had a fever. “It is the first time we have come to swab each other, but it seems to be going fast. I have no symptoms, but I’m going to do it the same since I’m here,” he said.


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