Health minister Patricia Gómez (second right) at Son Llàtzer on Wednesday. | Govern de les Illes Balears

The Balearic health minister, Patricia Gómez, has called on the public to "avoid social contact as much as possible", given the current situation with new coronavirus infections. "We cannot have so many parties or be with so many groups of people who are not from our family environment."

Goméz visited Son Llàtzer Hospital on Wednesday, the latest figures indicating that 164 people are currently in hospitals, with twenty of them in intensive care. With there being over 200 new cases per day, Gómez indicated that 70% of outbreaks are because of family and social gatherings. The government is recommending that gatherings should be limited to no more than ten people.

The minister stressed the importance of respecting quarantines and of anyone with symptoms isolating themselves immediately and calling the health service. She asked for the public's "understanding", accepting that the volume of work that health centres are having to deal with can mean that they are slow in answering the phone.

She trusted that new measures which came into force on Tuesday will begin to bear fruit in two weeks and that the number of cases - in Majorca in particular - will begin to decrease. If not, she added, it will be necessary "to take even more restrictive measures".

Gómez insisted that the virus cannot be "trivialised". Although half of patients have no symptoms and around 30 to 40% just mild symptoms, the remaining cases are serious.

On Wednesday, the health ministry reported 223 new cases, taking the total of cases since the start of the pandemic to 5,013, of whom 3,156 have recovered. The number of fatalities remains 233.

In Majorca, there are 150 people in hospital, 26 of them for social reasons, meaning that they cannot adequately isolate at home. There are nineteen patients in ICU in Majorca, while in Minorca there is one patient in intensive care, the only patient to be in hospital. In Ibiza, thirteen people are in hospital.