More testing might give a better indication of numbers. | Efe (David Arquimbau Sintes)


On Wednesday, the national ministry of health reported there have been 1,412 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Balearics. But on the basis of studies in various countries, it is believed that the number of people who have been infected is five times higher.

The spokesperson for the regional committee for the management of coronavirus, Dr. Javier Arranz, was asked at the Wednesday press conference about the number of people who don't appear in the official statistics.

He suggested that this was 80%, meaning that something around 7,000 people have been infected. However, he added that it wasn't possible to know for sure; the number is what these studies have indicated. This 80%, he explained, will have no symptoms or just mild symptoms, and this is "good news", as they are not putting more pressure on the health service.

Dr. Arranz also explained that the number of patients who need to be admitted to intensive care units is between 15 and 20 per cent of the total number of patients requiring hospital treatment.

He accepted that patients who have recovered are not being followed up. This is happening in some other countries, where there is further monitoring if patients experience later effects. It is up to patients themselves to notify doctors if they subsequently have ailments.

On the possibility of the virus mutating, he said that this has not been proven to occur. The virus has changed "a bit", but no major change has been detected.

Coming back to the number of infections, it might be noted that Dr. Arranz has previously suggested this is around five times higher than the confirmed number of cases. Almost two weeks ago, he observed that "everyone knows that there are many more cases".