Mallorcan health experts are furious over allegations made by German politician and epidemiologist, Karl Lauterbach, earlier this week.
Lauterbach told ZDF that he doesn’t believe the statements made by a Son Espases Hospital Spokesperson to the German News Agency, DPA, claiming that there's no sign of the Brazilian variant on the Island.
Several weeks ago, the Son Espases Microbiology sequencing team detected two isolated cases of the Brazilian strain of Covid on the Island.
"In the random sampling we do every week, two came out, in fact one of them was from a person who came from Brazil," said Antonio Oliver, Head of Microbiology at Son Espases Hospital. “This is strain B.1.1.28 which is related to the world-wide most virulent B.184.108.40.206 (or P1), but it’s not the same. It’s an ancestral variant, prior to this one, before it mutated into the one it is now, hence its importance is not emphasised. The facts are the facts, it's outrageous if they are presented in a different way,” blasted Oliver.
Joan Carles March, a Mallorcan Specialist in Preventive Medicine and Public Health tried to make sense of Lauterbach's statements.
“I can only assume that he’s saying this because fewer tests are done here than in Germany where you can do a Covid test in a week, whereas Spain and the Balearic Islands are a long way from doing that,” said March. “The most important thing at European level is to do things right and understand that other will do that too. Spain has reasonably correct indicators and I would ask this German politician not to try to crush others."
Joan Carles March also defended the professionalism of the Son Espases Microbiology Laboratory.
In the Balearic Islands the so-called British variant has been identified in 85% of cases.
"If two cases of the Brazilian variant have been found, there will be more, but no-one thinks they’re walking around Mallorca," said March.
Off the back of his allegations, Lauterbach demanded that holiday travel from Germany to Mallorca be banned, claiming the information was politically motived.