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Gran Canaria stays at Alert Level 4 and The Canary Islands all maintain their current measures

Gran Canaria stays at Alert Level 4 and The Canary Islands all maintain their current measures

The Canary Islands Ministry of Health has agreed this Thursday, August 19, that all the islands will continue at the same alert levels as last week, after analysing the latest epidemiological data. Tenerife and Gran Canaria remain at level 4; Fuerteventura at 3; La Palma, Lanzarote and La Graciosa at level 2; and La Gomera and El Hierro, remain at Alert Level 1.

The decision is based on Wednesday’s report from the General Directorate of Public Health which highlighted the downward trends in all pandemic indicators, with the exception of Covid patients in ICU beds, which is at it’s highest peak since the start of the pandemic.

The report pointed out that 2,460 cases have been officially reported between August 11 and 17, which represents around a 37% decrease in the daily average numbers of cases compared to the week previous. All the islands have followed this pattern, except Lanzarote which has remained stable at its current levels.

A decrease has been observed in the 7-day Accumulated Incidence (AI7d) for those aged 65 and over, both in the Autonomous Community as a whole (which continues to be high risk – Red) as it has on each of the islands, except for Lanzarote where it has increased over the last week but it has started to drop in the last two days. Despite the general decrease in detected cases, on Tenerife the rate is still at very high risk (Dark Red), high (Red) on Gran Canaria and medium risk (Amber) on Fuerteventura, with the rest of the islands being low (Green) or very low.

The variants circulating in the Canary Islands, according to the data from the last epidemiological week, include an estimated 89.4% Delta (B.1.617.2), 0.4% Alpha (B .1.1.7) and 0.2 Beta (B.1.351)/Gamma (P1).

COVID-19 hospital bed occupancy
The number of ward beds occupied by COVID-19 patients is falling again on the islands. As a whole we have gone from a daily average of 339 occupied beds to now 291. Occupancy is now considered low risk or very low on all the islands except on Tenerife.

The number of ICU beds occupied, however, has continued to increase since last week. We have gone from an average of around 100 ICU beds occupied by Covid patients to an average of 106 just in the last week. The largest increase has been seen on Gran Canaria, with 4 beds more, on average, occupied. Lanzarote’s occupied ICU beds have also seen a slight increase. The percentage of ICU occupancy is now at very high risk on Tenerife and at high risk on Gran Canaria and on Fuerteventura. On the rest of the islands, the risk indicated is very low.

The General Directorate of Public Health’s report stated that “it must be taken into account that, in this fifth wave, a greater risk of infection was attributed to younger people, however, over the weeks and with the non-pharmacological containment measures imposed, the infection was able to expand into family, work and social coexistence environments of other age groups. At first, the average age of people admitted to conventional beds and the ICU decreased, and younger people had to be assisted in hospital centres. This pattern was observed over recent weeks. Now, following the older age groups having been exposed and affected, the incidence rate is declining, although it is still high risk, the median age of patients in hospitals has increased.”

The median age of all people hospitalised for COVID-19 in the last 15 days now stands at 62 years, and in the ICU it is 57 years old. In addition, 24% of those admitted to the ICU over the last 15 days are between 12 and 39 years old.

It should be also noted that of the 253 people admitted to conventional ward beds in the last two weeks, 64% were not vaccinated; In the ICUs unvaccinated Covid-19 patients account for 81%.

The number of daily deaths has also been increasing for four weeks. In the Autonomous Community as a whole, the average number of deaths in the week from July 21 to 27 was two a day; by the week of July 28 to August 3, that number had risen to 3 day; between August 4 and 10, the daily average was 4 deaths (26 deaths in total) and this last week, between August 12 and August 17, the highest one-day total was recorded with 7 deaths in a day. 27 deaths in the last 7 days. 75% of those who died in the last 15 days were 68 years of age or older.

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