The subvariants of omicron BA.4 and BA.5 already cause 60% of the cases in the Canary Islands

The percentage almost triples that of the previous week. The seven-day incidence in Lanzarote and La Gomera is at high risk, where Gran Canaria was already

Carmen Delia Aranda

The new subvariants of ómicron BA.4 and BA.5 are already the dominant ones in the Canary Islands. These sublineages, due to their greater contagiousness of the seventh wave of the covid pandemic, together with the relaxation of prevention measures, already cause more than 60% of coronavirus infections in the archipelago, according to the update on the epidemiological situation of the variants of SARS-CoV-2 in Spain published this Monday by the Ministry of Health.

The data correspond to the s samples sequenced from June 20 to 26 and the percentage of the archipelago almost triples that of the previous week, which was 22.4%.

These subvariants have a greater capacity to escape the immunity provided by vaccines or natural infection, so they are more transmissible, but less serious cases have been observed than previous variants.

According to random screening using specific PCR for BA.4 and BA.5, these sublineages of the omicron variant cause between 50% and 89.7% of infections in the autonomous communities.

The Minister of Health affirms that they are not considering adopting new measures to stop the explosion of infections

The relaxation of prevention measures, the stagnation of vaccination among the younger population with very low coverage, and the expansion of these new subvariants are fueling the seventh wave of the pandemic in the Canary Islands and throughout Spain.

In the archipelago, the epicenter is located in Gran Canaria, an island that already has a high risk of its accumulated incidence of infections in the population over 60 years of age, both at seven and fourteen days, with rates of 827.3 and 1,528 cases per every 100,000 people, respectively.

But there are already two other islands that debut with the seven-day indicator at high risk, La Gomera and Lanzarote, with rates of 811 and 767 cases, according to the Public Health epidemiological report published this Friday. The rest of the islands, as well as the average of the archipelago, maintain these contagion indicators among the most vulnerable population at medium risk.

In this phase of the pandemic, which has been called flu, infections are only reported twice a week among people over 60 years of age. In addition to monitoring the incidence in this segment of the population, the indicators of healthcare pressure and mortality are those that mark the seriousness of the epidemiological situation.

In the archipelago, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura have the percentage of covid occupancy of conventional beds at medium risk – the same as the average for the Canary Islands – while the situation of the ICUs is at low risk or a controlled situation in all the islands.

In an act this Monday in Tenerife, the Canarian Minister of Health, Blas Trujillo, affirmed that the increase in infections is not causing greater pressure on care in hospitals, according to Efe. Although this growth in the number of infected causes the entire healthcare system, and especially primary care, to have to make an added effort to respond, "no special measures are going to be taken," he added.

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