6th Jan 2022 @ 10:26 am

Lanzarote once again broke its record of daily Covid cases, registering 463 cases yesterday which brings the total on the island up to 3,160.

Although the vaccine programme and the apparently milder nature of the Omicron variant have reduced hospital admissions, the sheer number of cases is starting to increase pressure on health services.

The Dr José Molina Orosa Hospital now has 18 patients on its Covid isolation ward and two in intensive care. This places its overall hospital occupation figures at Level 2 status, although the intensive care figures remain at the lowest risk level.

A huge number of recoveries is expected over the coming weeks, as those who have suffered mild cases pass the recovery period, but the increasing total of new cases also shows no signs of stopping.

Meanwhile, Lanzarote now has the second highest 7-day infection rate of all Canary Islands – ahead of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Every indficator relating to infection rates on Lanzarote is now at “very high risk “level, with Yaiza, Arrecife and San Bartolomé the worst affected municipalities.

Deaths have also taken an upturn on the Canaries in the last two days, with 32 registered in the first five days of 2022, most of which occurred on the larger islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

Tracing team limits actions

Faced with the impossible task of contacting close contacts of every one of the new cases, Canarian tracing teams have now decided to limit their activity to tracing only those who are in “vulnerable or high risk” groups, as well as those who are working in the health or care sectors.

Test results in Pharmacies

The Canarian Government has announced that pharmacies will be permitted to register the results of DIY tests with the Canarian Health Service, allowing the Covid green certificate of those who have not been vaccinated to be validated in the case of a negative test. The system has already been adopted with success in other regions of Spain, and will reduce the need to take a test in a private clinic.

UK travel restrictions relaxed

Meanwhile, the UK government has removed the requirement for pre-flight tests before returning to the UK for double-jabbed travellers, a move which will be welcomed by thousands of holidaymakers on Lanzarote. The rule will come into effect on Friday, and arrivals will be expected to carry out a single  lateral flow test on return. Unvaccinated travellers will still have to take pre- and post-flight PCR tests and quarantine for 10 days. 

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