The Governing Council is meeting Wednesday to decide extra restrictions for Tenerife
As Spain counts down to not having to wear masks outdoors in public for the first time in almost a year, the Canary Islands Government is studying formulas to contain the transmission of the coronavirus in Tenerife, which continues to rise. The Governing Council is meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) for an unscheduled emergency meeting to decide what new restrictions it will apply to the most affected island.
“Among the factors that are leading to this increase in Tenerife’s data, an extraordinary incidence of the virus in the population under 45 years of age has been identified, which in Tenerife, for example, is double that contributed by the same population of Gran Canaria”, explained the general director of Public Health of the Canary Islands Government, Jose Juan Alemán.
Tomorrow, the regional government will agree "A package of prevention and protection measures aimed at those activities where these age groups represent the majority, especially in the areas of leisure and sports," added Alemán, who clarified that the island is not expected to rise to Level 3 because although there is a sharp increase in cases, there is not an increase in hospital admissions or ICU occupancy, two of the main criteria that the alert Levels are based upon.
As for not having to wear masks outdoors in public from Saturday, the Canary Islands Government is waiting to know the fine print of this order that will be approved in the Council of Ministers on Thursday, as then they will know if this measure can be modified according to the epidemic situation of each territory.
Regardless of the scope of the measure, the administrations may still issue recommendations for the use of the mask, as the mayor Santa Cruz, José Manuel Bermúdez, did yesterday. He invited the population to keep wearing a mask until 50% of the Canarian population has been fully vaccinated against Covid, as recommended by the president of the Spanish Association of Vaccination, Amós García Rojas.
A few days ago, the Minister of Health for the Canary Islands, Blas Trujillo, indicated that the removal of the mask in open spaces is not incompatible with calls for prudence and responsibility, such as those that are being addressed to citizens Tenerife and that the most striking measures to contain the virus will be applied in closed spaces.
Influence of variants on new cases:
On the other hand, Alemán denied that the circulation of new variants explains the increase in infections in Tenerife. He highlighted that in Tenerife 94% of the cases are linked to the British variant, while that figure drops to 70% in Gran Canaria, where the presence of the South African variant is growing.
The growing presence of this variety of Sars-Cov-2 in the archipelago is confirmed in the report of the Ministry of Health on the circulation of the variants issued yesterday. 13% of the positives from the islands correspond to the South African (Beta) and Brazilian (Gamma) variants, the Canary Islands being the second region where these varieties circulate the most after Castilla La-Mancha.