Tested for Covid-19 | M. À. Cañellas


Some 13,500 PCR tests had been carried out in the Balearic Islands since the coronavirus epidemic began, but that means only 1.2% of the 1,150,000 population has been evaluated.

That’s the equivalent of 11,739 tests for every one million inhabitants compared to 111,111 for every million in Galicia and 10,673 in the Basque Country.

It’s a long way from the World Health Organisation’s recommendation.

“We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on March 16.

The Ministry of Health said on Tuesday that rapid diagnostic tests, which are less reliable than PCR, will only be used in Emergency Rooms and Residences to detect patients earlier, as they do not provide sufficient guarantees for asymptomatic patients.

The Balearic Islands have not yet received the 18,000 test kits that were promised and the rapid antibody tests that have already been bought can’t diagnose the disease in its initial phase.

PCRs and fast sample collection points, or Covid-Exprés, have been activated in different parts of the island and according to Dr Javier Arranz, Spokesman for the Regional Committee on Infectious Diseases, who says between 800 and 900 tests are being carried out every day.

The State Government reportedly plans to carry out rapid testing on around 30,000 Spanish families by way of epidemiological sampling of society.

The study will be done in collaboration with the National Statistics Institute and involve a minimum of 62,400 people. The participants will be tested a second time 21 days later and the results will help decide what, how and when containment measures should be lifted.

The Covid-19 virus has been more prolific in some parts of the country than others, therefore the de-escalation of coronavirus restrictions is also likely to be different.

1,369 cases and 84 deaths

There were 49 new infections on Monday and a total of 1,369 people have been infected in the Balearic Islands since the pandemic began.

The slight decrease in new infections continues as the epidemic subsides and 537 people have been discharged after overcoming the virus.

On Tuesday, another five patients left the Intensive Care Unit.

"The main objective of confinement was to avoid saturating the Intensive Care Units which we have successfully achieved and the number of hospitalisations has also decreased, which means we are now diagnosing mild cases that can be treated at home,” said Dr Arranz.

84 people have died from coronavirus in the Balearic Islands and there are still 784 active cases, 57% of which are either Healthcare Workers or Residents of Nursing Homes. By Tuesday 204 Healthcare professionals had tested positive and 390 were under active surveillance.