16th Apr 2020 @ 9:20 am

557 coronavirus tests have been carried out on Lanzarote during the coronavirus crisis, with a further 73 tests performed on patients already confirmed to have the virus, in order to find out whether they have recovered.

538 of these tests had to be sent to Gran Canaria, as Lanzarote’s Dr Molina Oroisa Hospital did not have the equipment to perform analyses until recently.  75 tests have since been analyzed on the island.

From yesterday, rapid tests are also being used here. These detect the antibodies that combat the virus rather than the virus itself, and are only used in patients who have had the symptoms for over two weeks.

“We’re doing all the tests necessary,” said José Luis Aparicio, head of health services on Lanzarote. “We don’t set a fixed number to carry out each day.”

Aparicio also confirmed that tests were prioritised according to Spanish Health Ministry protocols, with priority given to those suffering from serious symptoms of the virus; essential frontline health and security workers; elderly people in care homes and patients with health problems that make them vulnerable.

“For most people, if the symptoms aren’t serious there’s no need to do a test,” said Aparicio, confirming the possibility that many people are experiencing coronavirus without forming part of the official figures.

Many of these “suspected” cases are being advised to self-isolate in their own homes, and are being followed closely by health workers over the telephone. Although the exact figures for these patients haven’t been released,1,250 patients were attended over the telephone in March.

However, while it is widely agreed that widespread testing will be one of the main requirements for coming out of this crisis safely, scarcity of testing equipment and facilities appears to remain an important factor in the Spanish Health Ministry protocols. 

Latest statistics: 15th April , 20:00

Increase on previous day’s figures in brackets.    

Total Canarian Cases: 1988 (+13)

Cases on Lanzarote: 76 (+0)

Deaths (Canaries): 107 (+3)