New Covid restrictions come into force this week, which restrict the number of people who can eat together inside or outside at bars and restaurants, bring closing time forward by one hour and ban people who don’t live together from meeting inside or outside their homes from 01:00-06:00.
Health Minister, Patricia Gómez is hoping that’s enough to bring down infections in the Balearic Islands and predicts that we will see the effect of those measures in about ten days.
“The balance of stability in Mallorca is between 600 and 700 cases. We still cannot say that it is the plateau, it may hold, or go up a bit, in the coming weeks. This is how the fourth wave of the pandemic is evolving on the island,” she said.
Mallorca currently has a cumulative incidence rate of 635.4 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in 14 days and 517 of the 767 cases confirmed in the Balearic Islands on Wednesday were here on the island.
“The positivity rate is still high. There are days when there are fewer positives at Son Espases Hospital but more at other hospitals,” says Minister Gómez. “Although Mallorca appears to be stabilising, but cases are expected to increase in Ibiza in the coming weeks, whereas they appear to have reached a plateau in Minorca."
With more than 700 cases a day in the Balearic Islands, hospitals are under pressure to find beds for critical patients; 230 Covid are already in hospital and 32 are critically ill.
The increase in Covid cases also means that once again some scheduled operations will have to be cancelled.
"Obviously the serious and urgent will be dealt with quickly, but there are also situations that we need to postpone," said Minister Gómez. "The population of the Balearic Islands grows significantly in summer thanks to tourism, which generates more medical situations and fewer staff because people are on holiday.
The four Municipalities with the highest incidence rate are in Minorca and Ibiza and the worst in Mallorca are in Selva, Mancor and Lloseta.
By health centres, Sant Agustí-Cas Català is the worst followed by Na Burguesa and Santa Catalina.
The vast majority of infections are amongst young people who’ve not been vaccinated. Of the 767 cases confirmed on Wednesday, 134 were 20-29 years old and 123 were in the 30-39 age group and only 22 infections were confirmed amongst the over 70s.
Many of the elderly cases are being discovered in residences.
"It is a situation that worries us because they are testing positive in screenings," said Minister Gómez. “On Monday 16 new cases were diagnosed in a residence in Ibiza. Most have few symptoms and a mild version of Covid, but they are very vulnerable, and have other diseases, so their condition can worsen.”
Salut no longer reports daily infections in residences or between health workers, but on Wednesday cases were confirmed at the Posada dels Olors in Artà.