The dispute of Alfaro and López-Gatell for the rapid testing of COVID-19


The governor of Jalisco, Enrique Alfaro, accused lying to the assistant secretary for Health federal Hugo Lopez-Gatell is intended to disqualify your idea that it is necessary to apply “quick tests” on a massive scale in their state and in the rest of the country, in the fight against the spread of the disease COVID-19.

In a video this 2 of April, Alfaro claimed to Lopez-Gatell, because in his conference last Wednesday said that the rapid tests are not useful to combat the coronavirus, and that it was corroborated that none of them has the endorsement of Health agencies, or in Germany, Canada or the united States.

“Mystery solved, there are no rapid tests useful at this time”said Lopez-Gatell.

Alfaro, in the video, he said that this is false.

He noted that the u.s. agency FDA had approved at least four “quick tests”, one of them immune, or that detects antibodies, and at least three that work with the PCR technique, or polymerase chain reaction of the polymerase (PCR), that detect the genetic material of the virus.

The governor even showed screenshots where you can see the authorization from the FDA for four methods that seek to assist in the detection of COVID-19.

In a review of the page of the FDA, in effect, is observed on the authorization for use of emergency and in laboratories that are approved in the united States of the methods mentioned by Alfaro.

However, the governor of Jalisco and López-Gatell they differ in what they consider as “quick tests” to detect COVID-19.

Lopez-Gatell said that the rapid tests, which in his opinion are of little use, work with test strips similar to a pregnancy test, in which he puts a drop of blood and returns a result in a period of between 10 and 15 minutes, without the need of transferring the sample to a laboratory.

These tests detect antibodies, the immune system’s reaction to the coronavirus.

The problem with them, mentioned Lopez-Gatell, is that it is not known in what number of days from the infection to detect antibodies or defenses of the organism.

In Spain, according to a report in the journal The Countrythe Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (Seimc) has detected that thousands of rapid test that came in from China only detect antibodies against the coronavirus from the fifth or sixth day of infection.

These tests, according to López-Gatell, are equivalent to take a blown up, that just give a proper result or a dangerous false negative.

Now, on the other hand, Lopez-Gatell has not disqualified methods of detection as presented by the president of the united States, Donald Trump. It is a portable device that according to his production company casts a positive result in 5 minutes, and a negative one in 13.

Not takes up to 4 hours, that is until now, what takes the analysis of ‘traditional’ or most common, in laboratories such as that of the InDRE, from that comes a shown.

The test ID NOW (for the company Abbott Diagnostics Scarborough), presented by Trump, unlike that detect antibodies, identified in one person the genetic material or RNA COVID-19. Is the PCR test or polymerase chain reaction.

It takes a sample of secretion of respiratory of the possible infected COVID-19.

PCR is the standard technique recommended by the WHO, said Lopez-Gatell, and is the same technique that has been applied up to now in Mexico, although a device such as ID NOW promises to drastically reduce the time of issuance of results.

“With the technological innovation they have found ways to use the PCR test that are fast or possibly faster than the tests that are done traditionally, that is to say, every time there is a technological innovation”, noted the deputy minister.

This type of method, as presented by Trump, Alfaro considered quick test. On the other hand, Lopez-Gatell said that the diagnostic product ID NOW you can’t call it that. That is a difference of concepts that are both public officials.

“The united states and the president of this nation has made a public presentation of a product which is called rapid test. Not to confuse, what he I… is a product that technologically it is identical in terms of the mechanism of the test, the chain reaction of the polymerase, which is the standard diagnosis that uses Mexico and used by most of the countries and that the WHO recommends.

It is not a rapid test”insisted López Gatell on the 1st of April.

Until now, the officer has not mentioned if federal Health contemplated purchase or attempt to purchase diagnostic systems such as the ID NOW, presented by Trump.

What there is or is not a rapid test approved by the EU?

Back to the video of Alfaro, in it the governor charged that Lopez-Gatell lied the mention that there was no quick test or immune -of the that detect antibodies – authorized by health agencies at the international level.

The governor showed the page of the FDA, where yes appears approved the rapid test qSARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM Rapid Testof the company qSARS-CoV-2 IgG/IgM Rapid Test, for detecting antibodies.

However, its approval by the FDA for emergency use in the united States occurred the same day, 1 April, and no one can say whether this was before or after López-Gatell will verify with the u.s. agency if they had adopted a method of this type.

Beyond the times, and that Lopez-Gatell considers them useful or not, what is certain is that the u.s. FDA has already approved a rapid test that works with the detection antibody.

The other method mentioned by Alfaro, the ID NOW, was approved by the FDA on march 27, but as already mentioned, that product López-Gatell does not consider it as “quick test”.

A third, the test, Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 test that offers give results in 45 minutes, was approved by the FDA on march 20. Alfaro has requested that we apply in Mexico, you get the permits of Cofepris. Until now, federal Health research has not been pronounced on it would be an attempt to acquire this product, that it would speed up the diagnostics.

Also, claims by the number of tests

The governor of Jalisco was accused in Mexico have done very little testing of COVID-19, in comparison with countries like South Korea, so he asked Lopez-Gatell explain what is necessary to do, to have more diagnoses and to isolate people with the disease, and so prevent further infections. Even accepting that the antibody tests are only a first step, and that after you would confirm the diagnosis with PCR.

“Tell us what (test), tell us how, tell us what we have to do”said by the representative state, that in the days before, ensured that a supplier had failed in the delivery of hundreds of “quick tests”, so as not finalized the purchase.

On the amount of evidence, Lopez-Gatell said: “the number of testing that is done depends on the number of suspicious cases that are identified, that is to say, there is not a plan to say: I’m going to do so many tests per day. If in a day there are more cases, more tests will be done.

So far, the number what we have just seen, we made about 14 thousand tests since before the arrival of the first case, precisely with the expectation that we could find cases and then a follow-up to the cases.

How many more are we going to do? All that you need, all that you need to monitor, to monitor the course of the epidemic.”

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