Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the COVID-19 Asymptomatic Mass Testing Strategy in the North Metropolitan Area of Barcelona

Version 1 : Received: 13 May 2021 / Approved: 14 May 2021 / Online: 14 May 2021 (11:48:47 CEST)

How to cite: López Seguí, F.; Estrada Cuxart, O.; Mitjà i Villar, O.; Hernández Guillamet, G.; Prat Gil, N.; Maria Bonet, J.; Isnard Blanchar, M.; Moreno Millan, N.; Blanco Guillermo, I.; Vilar Capella, M.; Català Sabaté, M.; Aran Solé, A.; Argimon Pallàs, J.M.; Clotet, B.; Ara del Rey, J. A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the COVID-19 Asymptomatic Mass Testing Strategy in the North Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. Preprints 2021, 2021050327 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202105.0327.v1). López Seguí, F.; Estrada Cuxart, O.; Mitjà i Villar, O.; Hernández Guillamet, G.; Prat Gil, N.; Maria Bonet, J.; Isnard Blanchar, M.; Moreno Millan, N.; Blanco Guillermo, I.; Vilar Capella, M.; Català Sabaté, M.; Aran Solé, A.; Argimon Pallàs, J.M.; Clotet, B.; Ara del Rey, J. A Cost-Benefit Analysis of the COVID-19 Asymptomatic Mass Testing Strategy in the North Metropolitan Area of Barcelona. Preprints 2021, 2021050327 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202105.0327.v1).

Abstract

The epidemiological situation generated by COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of applying non-pharmacological measures. Among these, mass screening of the asymptomatic general population has been established as a priority strategy by carrying out diagnostic tests to limit the spread of the virus. In this article, we aim to evaluate the economic impact of mass COVID-19 screenings of an asymptomatic population through a Cost-Benefit Analysis based on the estimated total costs of mass screening versus health gains and associated health costs avoided. Excluding the value of monetized health, the Benefit-Cost ratio was estimated at approximately 0.45. However, if monetized health is included in the calculation, the ratio is close to 1.20. The monetization of health is the critical element that tips the scales in favour of the desirability of screening. Screenings with the highest return are those that maximize the percentage of positives detected.

Subject Areas

test-tracking-quarantine; cost benefit analysis; economic analysis; COVID-19; asymptomatic screening; mass testing; non-pharmacological interventions

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