18th Jan 2021 @ 11:55 am

As Lanzarote registers its first Covid deaths since September, recent increases in the  amount of Covid cases on Lanzarote have increased the number of patients hospitalised by the virus tenfold in the last few weeks. According to Lanzarote’s Health Area director Noélia Umpiérrez, there are now 32 patients in the Dr. José Molina Oroso Hospital in Arrecife, and 9 of those are intensive care.

The implications of these figures are grave. Two Lanzarote women died of the virus over the weekend – one an elderly women with severe underlying conditions, another a much younger woman who had recovered from cancer and who died after being moved to Gran Canaria. The current occupation of intensive care beds means further deaths are probable.

There is also the question of available space at the hospital. Normally, Arrecife has 10 intensive care beds, but health director José Luis Aparicio has announced that a further 11 have been equipped for intensive care, and that up to 56 beds may be converted to intensive care if necessary.

The situation on the non-critical wards is a little better. 23 patients are currently on the 28-bed Covid ward, but last week another ward of 46 beds has been freed up for potential future patients.

The lower figures of the last couple of days have led to some very guarded optimism that we may now have seen the worst of the infections that occurred over Christmas period. As the virus has an incubation period that is usually under 10 days, any cases contracted on Three Kings Day should now have manifested themselves. However, tracers are still working hard to locate and test all contacts.

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