Blas Trujillo, Canary Islands Health Minister alongside the director of the Canarian Health Service (SCS), Conrado Domínguez, have this Thursday announced that Covid Alert Levels on the islands will not be modified, despite record breaking infections this week.



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The archipelago confirmed 6,769 new cases over the last 24 hour period, down slightly from the 6,829 infections reported on Wednesday, which represents an increase of 33% compared to the same day last week.

However the decision was taken that all islands will remain at the same health alert levels that were approved on January 7: Tenerife at Level 4 (denoted brown), Level 3 for Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and La Palma (denoted red) and Level 2 for La Gomera and El Hierro (amber).

Health Minister, Blas Trujillo, explained at a press conference this afternoon that he had chosen to maintain all the levels in view of the overall evolution of the pandemic combined with the increased pressure that this sixth wave of Covid-19 infections has been generating in the region’s hospitals.

Trujillo has acknowledged that “there was some expectation in relation to the possibility of Gran Canaria going to level 4”, but specified that the island will remain at Level 3 due the increased hospitalisations having not yet reached the figures registered on Tenerife over the last few weeks.

The Minister pointed out that the daily declaration of infections has grown by 12% over this last week and that the Canary Islands indicate very high risk for incidence of the disease, the number per 100,000 population calculated at both 7 days and 14 days.

With regards to intensive care units, it was pointed out that the vast majority of patients being admitted to them are those who have not completed vaccinations.

The Health Ministry issued statement saying that between January 4 and 10, in the Autonomous Community as a whole, 29,384 new cases of COVID-19 have been reported, representing an increase of around 12.7% in the daily average of new cases over the last week.

The 7-day AI rate for the Canary Islands increased by 12.7%, going from a weekly average of 1,198.4 cases per 100,000 population, to 1,350.4 cases this week. The greatest rise has been observed on Fuerteventura, but all the islands remain at very high risk for this indicator, as is the case with the 7-day AI for people over 65 years of age and in the 14-day AI which are also showing very high risk on all the islands.

Healthcare indicators

Regarding healthcare indicators, the daily average of occupied conventional hospital beds for increased by 39.4% compared to the week previous and is at high risk, with an average of 570 beds occupied by Covid-19 patients. The percentage of occupation on Tenerife remains at very high risk; on Gran Canaria it is currently at high risk; La Palma is at medium risk; Fuerteventura and Lanzarote remain at low risk; and on La Gomera and El Hierro hospitalisations remain at “controlled circulation”.

The number of occupied ICU beds has maintained its upward trend, increasing by 9.6 percent compared to the evaluation last week. On the islands as a whole, coronavirus occupancy has gone from an average of 83 ICU beds two weeks ago to 91 this last week, with an occupancy across the islands standing at 18.1% and continues to be at high risk. Tenerife still remains at very high risk; Gran Canaria at high risk level; Fuerteventura at medium risk; La Palma at low risk; and the other islands are in “controlled circulation”.

Median age

The median age of the total number hospitalised for COVID-19 over the last 30 days is 69 years, and 63.5 years for those admitted to the ICU, all of whom are over 25. 50% of the people admitted to critical care units diagnosed during the last 30 days had not received the complete vaccination schedule.

79.9% of the people admitted for COVID and diagnosed in the last 30 days had no previous pathologies. This percentage increases for unvaccinated patients, in whom 91.1% had no other known pathologies.

The Ministry of Health insists on the need to maintain preventive measures to avoid risks of transmission of COVID-19: use of a mask perfectly covering the nose and mouth; respect for social distancing; cross ventilation and hand hygiene.

Situation in Gran Canaria

The island of Gran Canaria remains at Alert Level 3, although the latest report warns of the need to continue to closely monitor the evolution of indicators as well as the overall occupancy of critical units in public hospitals over the coming days,  as current trends in the data indicate that they will have a very high impact on hospitals.

Gran Canaria has presented all Block I indicators at very high risk levels for weeks and block II indicators have progressively risen also, placing the occupancy percentage of critical care beds at high risk for more than 15 days. Occupancy of conventional beds has been showing high risk since January 9 (10.6%) and, in ICUs, it has also reached high risk though has appeared relatively stable, at around 18%, for more than 10 days.

It has been decided, in accordance with the update of November 29, 2021 of the “Indicators for the risk assessment and Alert levels of transmission of COVID-19” document, approved in Spain’s National Health System Inter-territorial Council, that Gran Canaria can continue for now at Alert Level 3, the data indicate that it will be necessary to continue closely observing the evolution of all block II indicators over the coming days.