The confluence of delta and omicron triggers deaths from Covid-19 in the Canary Islands

The confluence of the delta and omicron variants of the coronavirus has triggered deaths from Covid-19 in the Canary Islands in January. The first month of the year 2022 in the Canary Islands has registered more deaths from Covid-19 than the previous four months. Health reported this Friday 12 deaths -eleven aged between 67 and 96 years old, and one 37 years old-, which brings to 245 those registered in the last 28 days, while between September and December 2021 there were 206 fatalities due to the pandemic in the Islands.

The second month with the most deaths from the pandemic was January of last year, with 114, 53% less. The high mortality rate is due to the confluence of the variants delta -more dangerous in terms of risk of seriousness- and the omicron -milder but with more contagious capacity-, according to Amos Garcia Rojas, boss epidemiology of Canary Health Service.

“The increase in deaths from Covid throughout the country this month is part of the inheritance of the delta variant - people who had been admitted to the ICU for a long time and who have died - but the omicron has also played an important role, not because it is more serious, but because the number of infections has skyrocketed. We have had a cumulative incidence like never before in the entire pandemic in the Canary Islands”, indicated the epidemiologist.

García Rojas assures that in the pandemic as a whole, the mortality rate is not so high in the sixth wave, taking into account the spectacular increase in cases due to the high level of infectivity of the omicron. “By mathematical logic, that implies that the number of complicated cases were going to have a certain presence. It has not been as important as with other waves, basically because of the vaccine, but if there is 5% of the total number of cases that can end up with serious complications, then 5% of 5,000 is not the same as 5% of 100, logically in that context of 5,000 will increase the number of deaths. In short, if there had not been such a spectacular increase in cases, there would not have been so many deaths..

The specialist pointed out that, in this scenario of high level of contagion, vaccination against Covid has been a significant brake on mortality.

“If we did not have 90% of the population vaccinated, this accumulated incidence would translate into many more deaths. If it were the other way around, with 90% of the population unvaccinated and only 10% vaccinated, the omicron variant, even if it were milder, would have a great impact on serious and complicated cases, it would have been a terrifying scenario.

The epidemiologist, president of the Spanish Association of Vaccinology, also pointed out that the delta variant, with a considerably lower number of cases than those registered with the omicron, however, "caused a number of deaths equal to or slightly lower than now."

Of the 253,797 cases of Covid diagnosed throughout the pandemic in the Canary Islands, 40% are currently active -101,035- due to the high degree of infectivity of the omicron


Regarding the trend, he pointed out that the behavior of respiratory viruses is to present milder symptoms over time, as has happened with the omicron variant -present in 96.4% of infections on the Islands-. However, he warns that the risk that the new variants have a high transmission capacity must be taken into account, "because that means that it is going to infect a lot of people and that we are going to have to live with complicated cases." For this reason, García Rojas advises, in addition to continuing to vaccinate, “not to forget to reinforce preventive measures, which are a mask indoors, physical distance, good ventilation of closed spaces, and hand hygiene.”

The Ministry of Health of the Government of the Canary Islands, which presented this friday a new application to communicate the positives by self-diagnosis test, reported 1,838 new coronavirus infections, bringing the accumulated cases since the pandemic began to 253,797, of which almost 40% are active -101,035 in total- due to the high degree of infectivity of the omicron variant. Of these diagnosed positives, 725 are hospitalized -15 more than Thursday-, 90 admitted to the ICU and 635 on the ward. The rest, 100,310, are in their isolated homes with mild or asymptomatic symptoms, 99.2%.

in addition 151,378 people have overcome the infection since the health crisis began, after registering 815 medical discharges on the last day.

In the last seven days, 58,503 tests have been carried out in the Archipelago for the diagnosis of Covid-19, of which 28% have been positive, a total of 16,425 tests


Tenerife added 596 infections and 46,652 active cases on the last day; while Gran Canaria raised its positives by 41,899 with 918 more than the previous day. Lanzarote registered 81 new cases and 4,814 active ones; Fuerteventura 119 infections and 6,171 active; and La Palma added 100 and 1,145 assets. La Gomera, with 11 new cases, has 136 diagnosed patients; and El Hierro, with 13 more in the last day, its assets amount to a total of 218 cases.

The accumulated incidence in the Canary Islands also continues to decline, after standing this Friday at 589.38 cases per 100,000 inhabitants at 7 days, compared to 632.32 registered on Thursday; and after 14 days it fell from 1,915, 98 to 1,776.77 cases in the last 24 hours.

In seven days, 58,503 tests have been carried out for the diagnosis of Covid-19, of which 16,425 have been positive, 28%.

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