Son Espases has nursing staff specifically for Covid emergencies' cases. | Miquel À. Cañellas

The director-general of the IB-Salut health service, Manuel Palomino, says that hospital emergencies are being reinforced ahead of an expected "coincidence of the eighth wave of Covid and the flu." "We are fearing a particularly tough winter, especially if the population is not vaccinated."

At Son Espases, for example, ten nursing staff who were specifically taken on during the pandemic for dealing with emergency patients are being retained.

The spokesperson for the regional committee for infectious diseases, Javier Arranz, agrees that it is necessary to prepare. Covid cumulative incidence among people over the age of 60 is currently 197 per 100,000 inhabitants. "Over the past week we have seen a small but noticeable increase among this age group. There has been an acceleration compared to the previous week."

Related news

At present, positive cases have not had any particular impact in terms of increased admissions to wards or to intensive care. In the Balearics, a total of 89 people are currently hospitalised with Covid, eight of them in ICU. "If the increase in transmission continues, it could lead to more admissions in a few weeks, so we must be vigilant."

Arranz is once more stressing the importance of vaccination, with combined flu and Covid vaccination being made available to everyone over the age of sixty as well as to others with vulnerable health conditions.

As to the flu in particular, it is expected that the pattern will be much as it has been in the past. Insularity delays the arrival of flu, and cases tend to increase in the Balearics in January because of mobility over the Christmas and New Year period.