Dr. Javier Arranz with health minister Patricia Gómez at a press conference.

29-02-2020Pere Bota

Javier Arranz, the spokesperson for the committee for management of infectious diseases in the Balearics, said on Friday that the diagnosed cases of Covid-19 are only between 15 and 20% of actual infections. These, he stated, could currently be between 3,775 (five times the official figure of 755 as of Friday) and 5,033.

Calculations by epidemiologists, he told a press conference, provide an idea of the real situation with the pandemic, given that tests for the virus are only being carried out on those with severe symptoms. "Everyone knows" that there are many more cases.

Arranz noted that some 5,000 cases equate to only around 0.4% of the population of the Balearics (1.17 million). This is very far off numbers predicted by mathematical models which suggest that up to 60% of the population could be infected over time. These models, he added, needed to be contrasted with more detailed and real data. The national ministry of health, he said, is launching research into providing more accurate, real data.

As for the foreseeable development of the pandemic, Arranz stressed that in recent days the increase in cases has "slowed down". By Sunday, two weeks after the confinement measures were introduced, it should be possible to confirm whether the decrease in the rate of growth is a consolidated trend.

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