Health minister Patricia Gómez told parliament on Tuesday that the UK Covid variant is on the decline in Mallorca and that it represents 14.2% of all infections. In Ibiza, however, a third of cases correspond to the variant. There have been no cases in Minorca. For the Balearics as a whole, the UK variant represents 23% of cases.
Gómez said that the Balearics is one of the most efficient regions in detecting the variant. Although there is an overall fall in the number of cases, this could take off again because of the transmissibility of the variant. She expressed particular concern for cases involving people over the age of 65 and for intensive care occupancy. Once the peak in ICU cases passes, it takes three weeks for occupancy to drop significantly. The ICUs, she added, were at their limits in terms of capacity; an increase in infections would be very concerning.
The minister insisted that there needs to be a very slow de-escalation of the restrictions. Reopening activities will mean an increase in infections. The aim is for the number of infections to be as low as possible in case the UK variant creates the majority of cases.
The health service, she argued, would have been stretched even more had it not been for the measures which began to be adopted in December. These measures, she accepted, have been "drastic". She explained that more than 100 people with Covid have been prevented from entering the Balearics and that some 200 positive cases have been detected at ports and airports.