Covid tracing and tracking centre in Mallorca

Over 200 people are involved in contact tracing and tracking.

17-07-2021Teresa Ayuga

Llucia Moreno of Mallorca's primary care Covid centre says that the current wave of infections is the "biggest of all, and we had thought that vaccination would prevent it". She is stunned by the fact that, in less than a month, the situation has gone from being highly contained to out of control.

Over the week of June 21, she explains, "everything exploded". "We had an average of 70 cases but this trebled in the space of seven days. Now we have an average of 621 positives per day." This was before she knew of the 864 cases on Friday.

At the tracing centre, up to forty minutes were spent talking to each positive case. The calls are now lasting, Moreno notes, just over seven minutes on average. Each positive case is generating four or five close contacts, and around 50% are between 16 and 29. They all display a similar pattern - attendance at a summer party.

Moreno admits that people in quarantine are not being fully tracked. "We would like to think that it is a minority who skip it, but at present we don't have the capacity to follow up people who are isolating. When they are called, they are told to contact the health service for a test if they start displaying symptoms. On the eighth day of isolation, if they do not have symptoms, a second PCR is carried out. Two days later they are discharged if they are negative. But we advise them to continue being monitored until the fourteenth day, as they could show symptoms later."

She adds that the centre has seen photos on Instagram of people who are out and about and who should be isolating. "We have called them but we can't control them."

There isn't the time, she says, for a full study of outbreaks. With 40 cases a day this was straightforward, "but with 700, we can't dedicate resources" to this number.

The main tracing unit has 220 people, including 75 members of the armed forces. Moreno explains that resources have had to be juggled, and that this was the case once the impact of student trips, the "botellón" and the Sant Joan fiestas became obvious. Every call which is made is to prevent infection or possible infection "swarming on the street".

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