La Marató de TV3 i Catalunya Ràdio said goodbye to 20 hours of its charity programme in radio and television with a great scoreboard of 10,305,819 euros, which will be destined for biomedical research of excellence on Covid-19, with the aim of increasing the quality and expectation of life for people who have this disease. This score will be increased by the donations that will arrive by 31 March, when this edition is finally closed.

In a year as exceptional as 2020 La Marató de TV3 staged an innovative event, true to the essence of the programme, that maintained the highly successful formula of the previous year. A very special programme was prepared, completely adapted to the pandemic, in which every element breathed the idea of paying homage to the health centres and to all the essential workers who do everything possible day after day to help us as a society to overcome the most critical moments of this crisis, with a format specially designed to conform to the necessary prevention measures to guarantee the safety of all those taking part.

At 8 o'clock in the morning, Roger Escapa opened La Marató for Covid-19 with a special edition of the programme "El suplement" on Catalunya Ràdio. At 9.30 TV3 joined in for the morning with a programme of outside broadcasts to highlight the work of the health professionals. For that, Raquel Sans, Laura Rosel, Jordi Basté and Mònica Terribas, with the collaboration of many more faces from the CCMA, travelled to various Catalan health centres where sets had been put up to interview patients and professionals, live events and connections, fifteen places, with activities from all of Catalonia as every year.

One of the places that La Marató visited to highlight the experience of life during the Covid-19 pandemic was Igualada. Also there was the collaboration and presence of the primary care centres and of the ambulance and emergency system (SEM), which are more essential than ever.

As evening fell, La Marató moved to the studios de TV3 in Sant Joan Despí for a great entertainment gala, which also included, as is usual, moments of awareness raising and scientific information from witnesses and experts from the health field. It was like a small, safe meeting of friends, warm conversations who have, or have had, first-hand experience of Covid-19. As always in La Marató, the witnesses were the backbone of the programme, accompanied by scientific voices and also with humour and a lot of music.

As every year, La Marató gave an educational illustration of how the disease in question acts. For example, with an explanation of the two ways in which the coronavirus spreads: droplets and aerosols, and Quim Masferrer delved into the world of masks and hand hygiene.

To guarantee to the maximum the health of the people involved in La Marató, this year the traditional four call centres that receive the hundreds of volunteers were turned into a digital system for receiving donations through electronic paying-in slips managed by specialist staff authorised for this purpose. Exceptionally for this year the La Marató phone number was not the main channel for making donations, but other channels were incentivised: internet, bank transfer, Bizum and ATM payments, which could also be accessed with a QR code.

The call for research grants into Covid-19 opened the day after La Marató

As well as raising awareness of Covid-19, the funds raised in this edition of the programme will also go to biomedical research of excellence on this disease, with the aim of increasing the quality and expectation of life for people who have it.

The health emergency caused by the pandemic has lent urgency to all research activity for the prevention and treatments of Covid-19. For that reason, the Fundación La Marató de TV3 has exceptionally brought forward the call for research grants and the whole process of awarding the funds raised in this edition. So, from 10.00 on 21 December until 26 January research teams can opt for funding from La Marató to carry out their research on the new coronavirus. The conditions and application forms will be available on the website of La Marató.

The candidate projects will undergo a process of international evaluation of recognised rigour and transparency, which will decide the projects to be funded with the resources of this edition. The deadlines for this process, which will be done virtually, have also been adapted so as to contribute immediately to Covid-19 research. The decision will be published during the first half-year of 2021.

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