Worries over a spike during the summer holidays. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter

A total of 388 new cases of Covid has been confirmed in the Balearics in the past 24 hours taking the total number of confirmed cases since the outbreak of the pandemic to 289,572, and an incidence rate to over 370 cases per 100,000 inhabitants for the past two weeks.

However, no new deaths have been reported in the last day, so the death toll remains at 1,424.
According to data from the Balearic Ministry for Health today, Mallorca has registered 186 new cases, Minorca 53, Ibiza 80 and Formentera four. For the rest (65) there is no island or municipality of residence.

The accumulated incidence rate for 14 days stands at 371.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, while the positive test rate is 25.34 percent for seven days.

By islands, the one with the highest incidence rate is Formentera, with 529.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Ibiza (458.1), Mallorca (369.5) and Minorca (229.3).

It appears that European countries are seeing a significant increase in Covid cases spurred by highly infectious subvariants of Omicron, raising fears of a new global wave of the disease as immunity declines and the summer travel season gets underway.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) warned last week that “the growth advantage reported for BA.4 and BA.5 suggest that these variants will become dominant” throughout the European Union, and probably result in a surge in cases.

Infections are rising in multiple countries, including Portugal, Germany, France, Greece, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Spain, according to the Our World in Data (OWID) project at the University of Oxford, which tracks the pandemic.

New studies have shown that Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 have a growth advantage compared with earlier variants and appear to be good at evading the immune system.

In other words, neither previous infections nor vaccines provide particularly strong protection against the subvariants, which is why they’re becoming the dominant strains. BA.4 and BA.5 do not appear to lead to more severe illness, but, as with previous waves, the increase in cases could result in an uptick in hospitalisations and deaths, the ECDC has said.