Hospitals & Health Centres ready for Phase 2. | M. À. Cañellas


The Balearic Islands have proved to the Ministry of Health that they have a strategy in place and sufficient capacity to deal with any resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic and are ready to move to Phase 2 of the coronavirus de-escalation plan on Monday.

Hospitals have enough respirators and beds available, there’s capacity to extend the units if necessary, they have the ability to diagnose suspected coronavirus cases in 24 hours and to track down those who’ve been in contact with patients who test positive.

Family physicians have been requesting PCR diagnostic tests from their patients for ten days, there are only three trackers in the community to track up to 150 close positive contacts, with each crawler covering fifty people.

Councillor Patricia Gómez crossed that hurdle on Wednesday by announcing that another 150 new employees will be hired and trained as and when needed.

"The important thing is to recognise that we need to be able to implement it when necessary and in this sense, we are in a good position to enter Phase 2,” said Dr Javier Arranz, Spokesperson for the Regional Committee of Infectious Diseases.

He also said that "confinement has gone well" and that the relaxation of the restrictions which allowed children and adults to go out in the streets to walk or play sports has had no impact on the number of new coronavirus infections.

Although more people have been diagnosed in recent days, hospitalisations and admissions of critically ill patients continue to fall and Dr Arranz says this is due to the fact that "Health Centers have diagnosed 15 mild cases that they would not have detected before", and screenings have been carried out at Nursing Homes and amongst Healthcare Professionals.

“There is a difference between having more cases because there is more surveillance and an outbreak in a specific place that indicates that there was a super-contaginator,” he said.

Dr Arranz also said that the community is already working on a plan for tourists that would work in a similar way to the detection of residents with the virus.

"If a National visitor tests positive in the Balearic Islands and does not need hospitalisation, he or she will be asked to quarantine at their accommodation or at an alternative location if necessary and their contacts will be tracked," he said. "If the visitor is a foreigner and depends on foreign healthcare, stricter measures may be necessary."

Serological study

Dr. Javier Arranz revealed new data from the Seroprevalence Study initiated in all communities by the Ministry of Health.

It found that at state level, only 5% of citizens had been in contact with the virus and generated antibodies.

In the Balearic Islands a figure of 2.4% was revised upwards to 2.5% after closer analysis of one of the three tests given to participants.

In Majorca 2.5% of the population has been infected, in Minorca, 3% were infected, in Ibiza, 2.3% and 2.2% in Formentera. It was also established that women were infected more often than men.

Salut has already screened more than half of the 18,000 people who work in Health Centres in the Balearic Islands.

The prevalence of the virus in this group, which is more exposed but also more protected, was lower than in the general population.

Only 181 Healthcare Professionals had antibodies, which is 1.95% of those tested.

46 Healthcare Professionals tested positive for coronavirus with the PCR test and were found to be active carriers of the virus.