The massive Covid-19 outbreak amongst students from the mainland who were celebrating the end of their course in s’Arenal, did not originate in Mallorca, according to the Regional spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Committee, Dr Javier Arranz.
“There is not much data and it is difficult to say whether or not the index case of the mega-outbreak is from here,” he said. “The first person who had symptoms was a group monitor, but it’s possible that other asymptomatic patients caused it. What we do know is that the infection is not due to a bad situation in the Balearic Islands.”
Dr Arranz is convinced that the outbreak that affected around 500 students was imported.
An investigation by the health services found that there were several situations in mid-June that may have contributed to the outbreak and one is the reggaeton concert at Plaza de Toros in Palma. A case was opened after students were found drunk and lying on the floor and ignoring social distancing restrictions at an Erasmus concert. The organisers are facing a fine of 60,000-600,000 euros for a very serious infraction of the Covid measures.
Other possible contagion sources include parties on boats, on land and at 9 hotels in s'Arenal de Llucmajor, which are being investigated.
“Infected people have come here and unknowingly transmitted Covid-19,” said Dr Arranz.
At the moment, no Mallorcans have been infected as result of the outbreaks in Madrid, the Basque Country, Castilla-la Mancha, Murcia, Aragon, the Valencian Community and Galicia, or one that originated in Minorca.
The Puente de Mallorca hotel welcomed four students from Guipúzcoa who tested positive while they were on the island and were unable to isolate themselves.
The Ministry of Health is tracking down contacts and colleagues of the students who may still be in Mallorca and employees at every hotel the students staying in will be screened for Covid-19.
“We don’t expect to find any more cases because the security measures were complied with,” said Dr Arranz, who stressed that an outbreak amongst members of a Play de Palma sports team who are the same age as the infected students, is unrelated.
“No filter can eliminate the possibility of infections 100%,” he added. The facts point to a super-disseminating outbreak in areas that promote contagion, such as enclosed spaces where drinks are shared, no masks are worn and social distancing is not respected, which has been seen from time to time worldwide."
The one positive thing is that even although there are a lot of cases, they're mild, and those affected didn’t need to be hospitalised. But it may be just a matter of time before a young person infects his parents and they end up in hospital," said Dr. Arranz.
He also said there are two factors to be considered in the current epidemiological situation.
“Young people are the ones who are infected now and those who are not fully vaccinated must be very cautious, especially if they live with young people,” he warned.
Dr Arranz also pointed out that diagnoses are being delayed and that younger people usually only go to the doctor four or five days after they develop symptoms.
"If young people have symptoms, they must self-isolate immediately and the advice is the same for people who’ve not had both vaccines.
The Ministry of Health is investigating how 200 people were infected, when 89% were not immunised, 18 had been given a first dose of the vaccine and 11 were fully vaccinated.
"The situation on Friday was not the same as it was on Monday, there has been a significant rise in cases,” said Dr Arranz.
For about two months the accumulated incidence rate has been stable with an average of 40 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, but yesterday it rose to 52.7.