Masks back on in Mallorca this Christmas. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


A year ago Mallorca experienced a Christmas marked by restrictions with a spike in the number of COVID infections in the middle of the third wave of the coronavirus.

Twelve months later, the islands are experiencing a festive season with a record number of positive cases per day, queues to take a PCR test or buy an antigen test and the fear of becoming infected in the final stretch of 2021.

Despite the feeling of deja vu, the data on deaths from COVID, hospitalised and critically ill patients show that the situation is very different today. In 365 days, deaths from coronavirus have been reduced by 74%.

One year later, the reality is different. There are many more infections than then, but far fewer hospital admissions and even fewer deaths.

The 14-day cumulative incidence was 795.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants last Friday, well above the 474 cases on Christmas Eve a year ago.

On the other hand, the situation in hospitals and the number of deaths was the reverse. Thanks to vaccination there are 74 % fewer deaths today than last Christmas.

The situation in hospitals is also the other way round: there are 11 % fewer hospital inpatients on the ward; on Christmas Eve 2020, when there were less than half as many positive cases as now.

ICU occupancy is 7% lower than a year ago. Until now, most of the hospitalised patients in critical units were non-vaccinated, however, in the last few days vaccinated patients have also been admitted, although most of them with previous illnesses.

The head of the Intensive Care Unit at Son Espases University Hospital, Julio Velasco, explained that the patients in this sixth wave are "younger" than in the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic on the islands.