Sant Joan fiestas in Minorca

The Sant Joan fiestas in Minorca have contributed to the high incidence,

02-07-2021Josep Bagur Gomila

Spokesperson for the regional infectious diseases committee, Javier Arranz, struck a different note to that of the government by suggesting on Friday that a reintroduction of Covid restrictions cannot be ruled out.

Arranz nevertheless echoed the views of President Armengol by stating that hospitals were at no immediate risk of being overstretched. This is because the greatest incidence is among the 16 to 29 age group, for whom the impact of the virus is less serious than the elderly population.

He said that mobility and activity limitations "are being studied" in order to contain the numbers of cases. Most of these are within the young age group and are linked to events at night, but there is also some community transmission. The 16-29 14-day cumulative incidence for the Balearics was up to 446 cases on Friday, while in Minorca specifically it was 1,300. Outbreaks in Minorca are directly linked to the Sant Joan fiestas and illegal street parties. There is to be a mass screening in Ciutadella, Arranz noted.

Although new infections are predominantly among the 16-29 age group, people currently being hospitalised are mainly aged between 30 and 50. Arranz explained that Covid patient bed occupancy is low - at around 14%. There is, therefore, plenty of capacity, but he did not foresee there being great pressure, except possibly in Minorca.

Once outbreaks are identified, Arranz added, it is not difficult to decrease numbers. But in the current situation, it is not possible to know which part of the general increase in cases corresponds to localised infections or to community transmission. He avoided classifying this situation as a new "wave" (what would be a fourth and not a fifth) and pointed out that it will be necessary to wait a few days to see how things develop.

"We know which restrictions and measures can help to control the situation. The question is whether they can be put in place." Halting further relaxation of restrictions, as the government has done, indicates that there is a change of tack and that a reopening of nightlife, which had been scheduled, will now be put back.

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