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FC Barcelona and Hospital Sant Joan de Déu are carrying out a study among the players in the club's youth teams in order to detect cases of Covid-19 transmission and, if they occur, to analyse them with the aim of knowing how the coronavirus is transmitted between adolescents and young people and between them and the adults who live with them. This study, which will run until December, is part of the research platform on the Covid-19 Kids Corona in Sant Joan de Déu, which has the support and funding of the Barça Foundation, through the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).
The study, which is managed by FC Barcelona's Health Innovation Area of the Barça Innovation Hub (BIHUB), the club's research, innovation and knowledge platform, involves 185 football, basketball and handball players from the youth teams at the club, and 45 adults who live with them daily, including coaches, teachers and physiotherapists, among others. Each participant is given a weekly saliva PCR check, a nasopharyngeal PCR test, and regular serological tests every 15 days.
With these controls, researchers hope to detect possible positive cases, study contacts and analyse the transmission of the disease that occurs between adolescents and young people, as well as adolescents and young people to adults, and vice versa. Since the beginning of this research work in August, only one positive case has been detected in one player.
The study complements another that researchers in Sant Joan de Déu carried out last summer in 22 homes in the Barcelona area, in order to know how children transmit the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus to other minors or adults. In this case, it was carried out mainly among children under 12, who are the ones who usually participate in this type of activity, while what is currently being carried out with FC Barcelona expands the research to a sector of the older child population, between 12 and 20 years.
Collaboration of the Barça Foundation and SNF
In June, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation made a donation of 500,000 euros to finance this study at the request of the Barça Foundation. This collaboration is in addition to the one in April 2019 when, together with the Messi Foundation, another very important donation was made for the construction of the Pediatric Cancer Center of the Hospital de Sant Joan de Déu.
Barça, especially through its Foundation, has been very involved in the Covid-19 health crisis. During the most important days of the pandemic, the Foundation has managed to bring medical equipment to Catalonia, especially from China, or manage aid funds for disadvantaged people. This last action, in particular, had a significant financial contribution from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) which was used for dining grants, access to food for vulnerable families, support for the homeless, psychosocial support for the elderly and awareness to help prevent the pandemic. The action was channeled through the Department of Education of the Government of Catalonia and the Creu Roja Respon program of the Catalan Red Cross, aimed at families and groups who need this support at these exceptional times.
SNF and the Barça Foundation have been collaborating since 2016 in support of the refugee and migrant program (carried out in Greece, Italy, Lebanon and Catalonia) and with the construction of the Pediatric Cancer Center of the Sant Foundation Joan de Déu, a project in which they have made important financial contributions in recent years, together with the Messi Foundation.
Statements of Jordi Cardoner, vice-president of FC Barcelona and the Barça Foundation
“For years we have been collaborating with the Hospital de Sant Joan de Déu in various actions and programs, including support for the construction of the Pediatric Cancer Center, and a few months ago, when we were asked for help in this research of the Kids Corona, we mobilised to be able to support them. We got good financial support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and now we are participating in this work with the players from our youth teams. To fight this pandemic we must all work together and collaborate as much as possible. Barça, especially through its Foundation, are have been working hard from the beginning and we will continue to do so.”
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