Microbiology Laboratory, Son Espases Hospital, Palma.

Microbiology Laboratory, Son Espases Hospital, Palma.

23-02-2021Pere Bota

The so-called British variant of Covid-19 is the biggest threat to de-escalation of the coronavirus restrictions in the Balearic Islands, but after an initial spurt in infections, the situation appears to be under control.

It seems that the progress of the British variant is being contained in the Balearics,” said the Coordinator of the Son Espases Microbiology Laboratory, Dr Antonio Oliver, who called for extreme caution when de-escalation begins on March 2.

The British variant has higher transmission capacity, so it will be necessary to monitor the situation closely,” he warned.

The British variant has been identified in 40% of coronavirus cases in the Balearic Islands, but that percentage hasn’t changed compared to the previous week.

The percentage of cases with the British strain was increasing until last week, then new infections started declining. The Balearic Islands now has a cumulative incidence rate of 111.27 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days, compared to 651.09 on December 29.

By island, the British variant has been identified in 40% of cases in Mallorca; 50% of cases in Ibiza and only one case has been detected in Minorca.

The Balearic Islands has identified 117 cases of the British variant, putting them in 3rd place behind Madrid with 130 cases and Cantabria with 145.

Dr Antonio Oliver, Coordinator of the Son Espases Microbiology Laboratory

Dr Oliver says this is due to the fact that the Balearic Islands have been sequencing for a long time.

"We were amongst the first to sequence and it started before December,” he said. “The Balearic Islands doesn’t have the most cases of the British variant, but it has the most sequences."

Dr Oliver also emphasised that the PCRs carried out in the Balearic Islands are helping to detect the British variant, which makes it possible to take greater control and slow down contagion.

Sequencing is continuing in the Balearic Islands in case another strain of the virus appears, but so far only the British variant has been confirmed.

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