This is a roll up article of several pieces relating to Covid-19 health and control matters affecting Ibiza, the Balearics and Spain. 

Ibiza Town has the highest incidence rates of Covid in the Balearic Islands

By municipalities, Ibiza, with a rate of 24.31; followed by Palma with 19.8; Marratxí 15.33; Santa Maria 15,19; Sant Joan 15,18; and Sant Antoni de Portmany 14.83

The cumulative incidence of Covid-19 in the last 14 days has risen in the Balearic Islands as a whole from 125.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on October 13 to 140.9 on October 19, and has registered increases in all the islands and in most of basic health areas.

The latest Epidemiology report confirms that the rate has gone from 148.1 to 173.7 in Ibiza , with 257 new cases detected in 14 days; in Mallorca from 131.2 to 143, with 1,281 positive diagnoses; in Menorca from 52.5 to 86.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants after detecting 81 positives; and in Formentera from 0 to 8.3, with a single case diagnosed between October 6 and 19.

The latest report from the Epidemiology Service of the General Directorate of Public Health and Participation also includes the increase in cases in some neighbourhoods of Palma, Ibiza and Manacor, the Ministry of Health reported in a statement.

By municipalities, the one with the highest incidence per thousand inhabitants (counting the total of cases registered up to October 21 and not counting the diagnoses of geriatric residences) is Ibiza, with a rate of 24.31; followed by Palma with 19.8; Marratxí 15.33; Santa Maria 15,19; Sant Joan 15,18; and Sant Antoni de Portmany 14.83.

The least affected are Fornalutx 0, Ferreries 0.21, Es Migjorn 1.42 and Petra 2.45.

When comparing basic areas (diagnoses from October 6 to 12 compared to October 13 to 19) in three points the cases rise: a good part of the island of Ibiza, Manacor and several neighbourhoods of Palma.

Ibiza Zones

The basic health area with the highest rate between October 13 and 19 is Vila, with 2.89 cases per 1,000 inhabitants. Also, in the municipality of Ibiza, the incidence has risen in Es Viver (1.15) and in Sant Jordi (0.18), in the basic health area of Sant Josep (1.01) as well as that of Santa Eulària (0.47) and Sant Antoni (1).

In Formentera, the accumulated incidence per thousand inhabitants has increased slightly: from the rate of 0 registered between October 6 and 12, it goes to 0.1.

Total Cases & Tracking

From the start of the pandemic until October 21, the Balearic Epidemiology Service has validated 16,894 positive diagnoses of SARS-CoV-2 in the Balearic Islands: 13,902 in Mallorca, 2,374 in Ibiza, 142 in Formentera and 476 in Menorca.

Of the total, 66.45% (11,227) have presented symptoms, while 33.55% (5,667) have been asymptomatic.

Epidemiology has catalogued 176 cases as coming from other communities and 96 imported from other countries.

Of all those infected, 752 have been users of geriatric residences and 854, health workers.

Regarding the profile of those affected, the Epidemiology report establishes that the disease has practically affected women (8,679 cases, 51% of the total) and men (8,215 cases, 49% of the total), in the Balearic Islands.

By age groups, the most numerous are still people between 30-39 years old (3,063), followed by those 40-49 (3,003) and 20-29 (2,795). Of the total number of cases detected, the majority (50.4%) were between 20-49 years old, 22.4% were between 50 and 69 years old, 16.7% were under 19 years old and 10.4% over 70 years old.

Regarding the outbreaks -groups of 3 or more cases of Covid-19-, the Epidemiology Service highlights that up to 253 have been detected since the beginning of the pandemic, with 1,839 associated positive cases (approximately 11% of the total). 46% of these cases (838) presented symptoms.

36% of the outbreaks (91) were family-related, 21% (53) originated due to social gatherings and 15% (37) were work-related. In 245 outbreaks, the primary case was autochthonous.

The average number of cases per outbreak detected in the islands has been 7 positives: the minimum has registered 3 cases and the maximum (case of a geriatric residence) had 94 associated cases.

Of the 253 outbreaks, 8 have been detected on the island of Menorca, 10 on Formentera, 67 on Ibiza, and on several islands (Menorca-Ibiza), and 167 on Mallorca. Of all of them, there are 64 with open investigation

Family and social gatherings limited to six people in Ibiza

  • The president, Francina Armengol, announces that “the measures will be relaxed” in Formentera as has been done in Menorca
  • It warns that “the situation is not good” despite the fact that “the Balearic Islands is one of the autonomous communities least affected”

Social and family gatherings will be reduced from ten to six people on the islands of Ibiza and Mallorca, as announced yesterday by the president of the Balearic Government , Francina Armengol.

In the speech, lasting an hour and a half, with which she started in the Parliament the debate on the state of the Autonomous Community. “It is hard, it costs a lot, it takes us away from the people we love the most, but we know that social contacts are the source of many infections and must be avoided. We have made an immense, exemplary and committed effort, but we must make a greater effort, “she said. This measure is expected to apply as of Saturday.

Armengol pointed out that the current restrictions will be reinforced to reduce the number of infections due to the coronavirus , although she did not give more details, only the reduction of social gatherings to six people that will apply for the moment only in the islands of Ibiza (the restriction that operates in Vila, at least until Saturday, it is even higher, with a maximum of five people) and Mallorca and “it will remain as long as necessary to lower the curve further.” «If we succeed, we will be able to relax the measures, as we did in Menorca several weeks ago and as we will also do now in Formentera” announced the president, who pointed out that a system of levels of involvement is being” finalized “so that” everyone is clear about what situation we are in at all times and what measures should be applied. “

The head of the regional Executive warned that, despite the fact that the curve has been bent after the second wave of infections, “the situation is not good.” “The curve has stagnated at too high figures,” he added. Despite the fact that, according to health figures, the Balearic Islands is “one of the least affected autonomous communities in the State, the reality is that we are still in a medium risk area and our objective cannot be other than to reach the low risk area”.

Armengol indicated that currently the Balearic Islands have an incidence of 140 cases of Covid-19 in the last 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants, a figure that, she stressed, has to be “below 50”. She recalled that at the end of August, in the middle of the second wave of the pandemic in the islands, the incidence was at 521. In the same way, the 69.5 infections in seven days from now must be less than 25 and the positivity rate it should be kept below 5%.

The percentage of hospital beds occupied by coronavirus patients should remain below 5% as up to now, and 14% of those in ICUs should not exceed 10%, according to the president. “We have a long way to go and we cannot stand idly by or settle for a favourable comparison with the rest of the State, which does not serve us either to guarantee the safety of our people or to reopen the doors to the areas of Europe less affected, “ she said.

35 new cases of coronavirus in Ibiza (first published Thursday 22nd October)

49 people have been discharged, so the number of active cases drops again to 456 cases, 13 less than yesterday

The Ministry of Health reported today that 35 new cases have been recorded in Ibiza (21 new infections were detected on Wednesday) and there are 37 people admitted (one more), 2 of them in the ICU (one less), and 4161 in home convalescence (a fortnight less).

In Formentera, a new case has been detected and 2 people are under Primary Care supervision.

At the same time, in Ibiza there have been 49 discharges that place the global figure since the beginning of the pandemic at 2,287 cures. Thus, the number of active cases drops again to 456 cases, 13 less than yesterday.

In hospitalization the cases increased from 36 to 38, although the admissions to the ICU decreased, which after being discharged yesterday left with 2 patients in intensive care. 418 people receive home monitoring by Primary Care teams, 416 in Ibiza and 2 in Formentera.

Finally, active surveillance professionals continue to decline, dropping from 34 to 32, of which 6 are positive, one less than yesterday.

Eight deaths

In addition, it has reported that this Thursday to the Ministry of Health the death of 8 more people by covid-19 in the Balearic Islands, corresponding to deaths of elderly people in residences produced in August, September and October, which were pending verification.

With the update of the data on deaths in nursing homes, the total number of deaths in the Balearic Islands since the beginning of the pandemic rises to 351 people, of which 174 are nursing home elderly.

The Balearic Government’s daily report also includes 169 new infections of SARS-CoV-2, bringing the total since the beginning of the pandemic to 16,765 in the archipelago; as well as a new increase in active cases on the islands, which occurs for the second consecutive day, to 2,542, which is 40 more than on Wednesday.

The positivity rate is 6.94% this Thursday, the percentage of positives detected in the 2,434 diagnostic PCR tests carried out in the last 24 hours, compared to 5.69% registered the previous day.

In the hospitals of the islands, this Thursday there are 196 covid-19 patients admitted (the same as the day before): 158 patients hospitalized on the floor (2 more than on Wednesday) and 38 in intensive care (2 less than the day before) .

The Health Service has discharged 129 people in the last 24 hours, 16 of them hospitalized and 113 Primary Care patients.

In nursing homes, one person has died in the last 24 hours, and there are 174 deaths from covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. There are 60 active residents (5 less than on Wednesday) and 54 hospitalized (one more). Nursing home professionals with active infection remain at 47.

There are 53 health professionals with active infection this Thursday (2 more than the day before) and 178 cases under surveillance (another 12 more, the same increase as the day before).

By islands, the majority of new cases of Covid-19 have been detected in Mallorca, with 112 infections. 118 patients are still hospitalized on the ward (the same as yesterday) and 33 in intensive care units (2 less), while 1,822 people are treated at home or in accommodations authorized by Health (33 more than on Wednesday).

In Menorca, 22 more people have tested positive in the PCR test, there are 3 admitted to the Mateu Orfila hospital floor, another 3 in the ICU and 106 are convalescing at home.

Coronavirus cases in Spain top one million as pandemic accelerates

Country becomes first in Western Europe to hit symbolic figure while daily reported cases reach new record

  • As reported in El Pais in English

Spain on Wednesday became the first Western European country to surpass the symbolic threshold of one million coronavirus cases. The cumulative case load since the start of the pandemic now stands at 1,005,295 infections based on PCR and antigen tests. This figure represents a 10.7% rise from a week ago.

The advance of the coronavirus pandemic in Spain is not slowing down – in fact, it is accelerating. On Wednesday, regional governments reported 16,973 new cases, a new record in terms of daily notifications.

Practically every territory of Spain is seeing increased virus incidence compared with a week ago, with two exceptions: the Canary Islands and Madrid. In the latter region, the cumulative 14-day incidence has dropped from 784.71 cases per 100,000 inhabitants on September 29 to 432.26 this past Wednesday. Madrid’s incidence rate had been falling steadily every day for the last week, but experienced a small spike again between Tuesday (431.94) and Wednesday (432.26).

In the northern region of Navarre, which is closing its borders tonight in a bid to contain the spread of the virus, the cumulative 14-day incidence rate has reached a record 1,021 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. A week ago, this figure stood at 774.06.

Only the Canary Islands has a 14-day incidence rate of under 100 (it sits at 81.13); there are four territories with rates between 100 and 200, one between 200 and 300 (Asturias), six between 300 and 400, and two between 400 and 500.

On June 21, when Spain emerged from a prolonged lockdown and deescalation process, the national average 14-day incidence rate was 8.08, and no region had a figure in excess of 20.

No visible effect

For the moment at least, the tighter measures recently adopted by some regions have not had a visible effect. This may be because cases take around 10 days to be detected after an infection. Or it could also be the case that the measures are proving insufficient against generalized community transmission.

In statements to the television station La Sexta, Joan Carles March, who teaches at the Andalusian School of Public Health, put forward a third explanation: that measures have simply been adopted too late.

All other indicators confirm that the situation is getting worse. The positivity rate, or percentage of PCR tests that come back positive out of the total number of tests, has risen from 10.8% to 12.4% in one week. Only the small northern region of Asturias has a rate of under 5%, which the World Health Organization (WHO) considers a threshold for having the pandemic under control.

Pressure on the healthcare system is also rising. There are 13,638 patients hospitalized for Covid-19, representing 11.51% of all available beds and a 17% rise from a week ago. There are 1,930 coronavirus patients in intensive care, compared with 1,652 a week ago, for a rise of 16.82%.

In four Spanish territories – the regions of Madrid and Castilla y León, plus the exclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla on the northern coast of Africa – Covid-19 patients are occupying over 35% of intensive care beds. A week ago, only Madrid and Ceuta were in that situation. But if hospital admissions for all causes are taken into account, the picture that emerges is that many hospitals in Spain are starting to have problems.

Spanish government considering nationwide state of alarm to implement a curfew

  • Health Minister Salvador Illa today confirmed the possibility was being studied, but stressed it would require the support of the regions and opposition parties such as the PP

The Spanish government is considering introducing a nighttime curfew across the whole of the country, in a bid to bring down coronavirus infections. The executive believes, however, that it would need to do so under a state of alarm given that there is no other option that would give it the legal framework to limit a fundamental right such as that of movement in this way.

The possibility was confirmed on Tuesday by Health Minister Salvador Illa of the Socialist Party (PSOE), who pointed to the fact that other European countries are considering curfews. The political discussion on such a restriction has arrived today, however, because the Madrid regional government – which is headed by the conservative Popular Party (PP) in coalition with Ciudadanos (Citizens), and propped up by far-right Vox – made clear this morning that it is open to a curfew for the region, which once again has been particularly badly hit by the pandemic during this second wave.

Sources from the central government said today that it would not go ahead with a country-wide curfew if there is not an agreement to do so among all of Spain’s regions – some of which, like Madrid, are led by the PP. For his part, Illa today stated before reporters that such a move would not be imminent, but is being studied.

“It’s important to know if the PP would be willing to give its support to this,” Illa said in reference to a state of alarm and curfew, speaking at a press conference after the weekly Cabinet meeting. “A decision has not been made. It is being evaluated and studied. If it is made, it will be very important to know the political position of the PP.” The minister added that he had not had any discussions with the party about the issue.

Illa once again warned that “very tough weeks are coming,” with regard to the pandemic in Spain, and called for fresh support from other parties. “If this is where we are going,” he said, in reference to a curfew, “we need a state of alarm and I want to know who is willing to support me.”

Article 116 of the Spanish Constitution describes three legal categories for emergency situations: state of alarm, state of emergency and state of siege (in Spanish: estado de alarma, estado de excepción and estado de sitio). It is the first situation that was implemented by the Spanish government at the outset of the health crisis in March, paving the way for one of the strictest coronavirus lockdowns in the world.

The government can implement a state of alarm – as it did in the spring, and as it did earlier this month in the Madrid region – but it needs the support of Spain’s lower house of parliament, the Congress of Deputies, if it is to extend it. In March, the government – a centre-left coalition headed by the Socialist Party, with junior partner Unidas Podemos – found support from the opposition for a state of alarm. But this backing ebbed away as the crisis deepened, and the emergency situation was eventually lifted in June when it became clear the executive – which lacks a working majority in Congress – would not have the support it needed to prolong it further.

The political challenges that face the government in terms of a curfew are similar. The Madrid regional government has said it is open to a curfew, but it does not want a state of alarm. The government believes that this is not possible. One option is to request that all citizens remain at home from midnight to 6am, but an actual curfew, where the police have powers to enforce the rules, would necessitate a state of alarm, government sources insist.

Illa also confirmed on Tuesday that the central government would not renew the state of alarm in Madrid, which is due to expire on Saturday. The central government is still unaware of what exactly the PP-led regional administration in Madrid will do this weekend in a bid to contain this second wave of the coronavirus. This morning, the region’s health chief floated the option of a curfew, or returning to a previous raft of measures that confined residents of 45 basic healthcare areas – administrative divisions that contain one or more healthcare centres.