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Lanzarote joins Fuerteventura at Alert Level 2 due to rising Covid-19 risk indicators

Lanzarote joins Fuerteventura at Alert Level 2 due to rising Covid-19 risk indicators

As was expected, following this Thursday’s weekly Regional Governing Cabinet meeting, the island of Fuerteventura continues at Alert Level 2, but will now be joined by Lanzarote, while the rest of the islands remain at COVID-19 Alert Level 1. The 7-day Accumulated Incidence (7d-AI) across the archipelago has now increased by 60.6%, which is why the importance of maintaining prevention measures to avoid transmission risks is being repeatedly stressed, since this increase appears to directly respond to relaxation of mask-use measures indoors, interpersonal distancing, hand hygiene and ventilation guidance.

The Canary Islands Government Ministry of Health this Thursday afternoon reviewed the Health Alert Levels, based on the latest epidemiological report from the General Directorate of Public Health on the evolution of health indicators for COVID-19, with consolidated data as of November 17, agreeing to move the island of Lanzarote (with La Graciosa epidemiologically included) up to Alert Level 2, where it will likely remain for the next two weeks, as was the case for Fuerteventura last week. The rest of the islands, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro, continue for another week at Alert Level 1, identified with the “green traffic light”.

The change of level guidance for Lanzarote comes fully into effect from 00:00 on Monday the 22nd, being subject to periodic revaluations, potentially even before the date indicated, if necessary.

Throughout the entire territory of the Canary Islands Autonomous Community, between November 9 and 15, 1,125 new cases of COVID-19 have been detected, an increase of around 23.4% on the daily average of new cases when compared to the previous week, when 912 cases were registered.

The average 7-day AI rate in the Canary Islands as a whole, and by islands, increased by around 60.6%, from a daily average of 31.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, increasing to 50.1/100k cases in just this last week. The greatest rise has been observed on the island of Lanzarote however all the islands are now deemed to be at medium risk level, except Fuerteventura, which remains at high risk and La Palma, which remains at low risk.

The daily average 14-day AI rate has increased on all the islands, placing the Autonomous Community as a whole at medium risk. Fuerteventura, which is still at high risk, and El Hierro and La Palma are at low and very low risk, respectively.

These increasing accumulated incidence data are being linked directly to the general relaxation in non-pharmacological preventive measures (mask, physical distance, ventilation, hand washing) despite the fact that these measures have amply demonstrated their efficacy. The Ministry of Health are insisting on the need to maintain preventive measures to avoid risks of COVID-19 transmission.

Healthcare indicators

Regarding healthcare indicators, the daily average of conventional hospital beds occupied during the last week by COVID-19 patients has increased by 19.3% compared to the previous week, now with an average of 105 beds occupied, although the relative percentage of occupancy remains at a low risk level on all the islands, except Lanzarote and La Gomera, which are currently at very low risk.

The number of occupied ICU beds has maintained an upward trend that began last week, with a total of 28 occupied last week, although most of the islands remain at very low risk, except Tenerife and Gran Canaria, which are now at low risk.

The median age of all people hospitalised for COVID-19 in the last 14 days has remained at 65.5 years of age.

Half of all the people admitted to critical care units diagnosed during the last 2 weeks had not received the complete vaccination regimen, and 52.8% of the people admitted for COVID and diagnosed in the last 14 days had no previous pathologies. However, this percentage increases to 70.2% in unvaccinated patients admitted to ICU with no other known pathologies.

Accumulated Incidence in unvaccinated people

The Accumulated Incidence rate for COVID-19 cases over the last week is now 2.7 times higher among those who have not yet received any vaccine doses, when compared to the rate among the population that has received the full regimen.

Situation in Gran Canaria and Tenerife

The report also indicates that though Gran Canaria and Tenerife continue at Alert Level 1, an increase in the average number of cases over the last two weeks has been observed, and there is an upward trend in the 7-day Accumulated Incidence, though, for now, this indicator remains at medium risk level. Hospital and ICU occupancy continues its upward trend on both islands, with the data indicating that while they may continue at Alert Level 1 for now, both islands can reasonably be expected to have their alert levels increased by the next weekly evaluation, should the upward trend of these indicators continue.

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