Eugènia Carandell, coordinator of the vaccination programme, and Javier Arranz. | Archive


On Thursday, the spokesperson for the regional infectious diseases committee, Javier Arranz, said that the vaccination rate must be increased and protection measures must be maintained over the Christmas holidays: "We must adapt to this pandemic."

"If anyone thought that the pandemic was over, they are wrong. We still have the problem and it is a serious problem." Accepting that there can be pandemic fatigue, he nevertheless stressed that this must be replaced by "pandemic adaptation".

Arranz emphasised that masks must be worn whenever possible, especially in closed places. Interpersonal distance needs to be maintained, as does hand disinfection, something that "many have surely begun to forget", while interiors need to be ventilated, especially during family and social gatherings.

He asked people to avoid crowds over the Christmas holidays. If someone has Covid symptoms, they should have a test and not go to social gatherings or public places. Arranz called for the public to collaborate over the coming weeks, predicting that there will be "significant pressure" on the health service after the Christmas holidays. "Collaboration means that if someone tests positive for Covid, they stay home, whether or not they are vaccinated. If there is a close contact, they should also stay home."

Regarding the Omicron variant, he explained that it currently represents less than one per cent of cases detected in the Balearics and that there are no data to indicate that there is community transmission. "But this will obviously change after the holidays." It is a worrying factor as it could be responsible for a significant number of infections, though he added that it is not more serious than other variants detected so far.

As to the profile of patients currently hospitalised because of Covid, Arranz said that the age group is lower compared to previous waves and is typically between 50 and 60 years old. Most are not vaccinated.