One out of every four tests done in the Canary Islands is positive
One in four diagnostic tests performed in the Archipelago are positive for coronavirus. This means that the positivity rate is at the highest levels since the pandemic started, 25%, and that the virus is spreading across the islands like never before. This indicator is higher in Tenerife, where three out of ten tests are positive and on La Palma, which in recent days has experienced a sudden increase in cases that has caused positivity to increase to 34%.
These levels of positivity are related to the entrance of the Omicron variant to the Islands, which is already the predominant one and which is much more contagious than Delta. If the virus that left Wuhan had the capacity to infect between 2 and 3 people for each infected and Delta had doubled that number until it acquired the capacity to infect 6 from a single patient, when Ómicron makes an appearance, it is capable of infecting up to 10. This number is called the basic reproduction number (R0) of the virus and with these new mutations, the coronavirus has become a virus almost as transmissible as measles whose R0 is between 12 and 18 or whooping cough, which acquires a contagion capacity of 12 to 17 people.
With the prevailing circulation of this variant, the Canary Islands continue to beat record numbers of daily diagnosed cases. Yesterday there were 3,959, a figure never seen in the course of the pandemic. In this way, several of the islands diagnosed more cases than ever in just one day. This is the case of Tenerife (2,314 cases), Gran Canaria (1,193) and La Palma (79). Despite not exceeding their maximum figures, the rest of the islands also accumulated a large number of new positives yesterday, which continue to widen their epidemic curve. Lanzarote added 204 cases, Fuerteventura 112, La Gomera 42 and El Hierro 14.
However, the islands are not growing at the same rate. El Hierro and La Gomera have tripled and quintupled, respectively, their weekly diagnoses, while Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and La Palma have doubled them. In the case of Tenerife, the curve has slowed down to only increase at a rate of 53% per week. Fuerteventura is the island that grows at a slower rate of only 28% per week.
Yesterday the death of 3 more people was also reported, raising the number of deaths in December to 76. One of the deceased was 40 years old and had no previous pathologies.
Faced with this scenario of infections, the Government of the Canary Islands maintains its efforts to vaccinate most of the population in order to protect them against the consequences of the coronavirus. Thus, yesterday the Ministry of Health opened agendas for people between the ages of 40 and 49 to request an appointment to receive the third dose. This group, made up of 322,041 people, will be able to receive the booster dose after six months. Of the 3.7 million doses that have been inoculated in the last year, 412,854 correspond to booster doses against the coronavirus for groups over 50 years of age (to which those over 40 will now be added). On the other hand, 23.25% of the pediatric population between 5 and 11 years old already have the first dose. This amounts to 31,846 children.