18th Aug 2020 @ 9:19 am

Two men in their 60s became the first  Covid-19 patients to be hospitalised on Lanzarote for over two months yesterday. The men had tested positive and been in isolation at home until their state of health worsened. One of the patients has been admitted to the intensive care unit, while the other is on the ward reserved for Covid-19 patients. One of the the patients is described as having a “pre-existing condition”.

There are currently 60 patients in hospitals in the Canaries, a figure that is more than double the figure last Monday. Six of these patients are in intensive care.

Nevertheless, the proportion of new cases that require hospitalisation is still far lower than it was in March, when a national lockdown was called to ease pressure on the health services. In the early days of the crisis, tests were only carried out on those who showed clear symptoms of being affected by the virus. As a result, around 40% of patients who tested positive required hospital care. Nowadays, that figure is just over 5%.

These days, a large proportion of the positive cases are younger people who are often asymptomatic or only mildly affected by the virus. Many of them  are tested after being contacted by track and trace teams investigating contacts with other positive cases.

The focus of the pandemic has also shifted on the Canaries. In the first months of the crisis, it was Tenerife that suffered the majority of cases, with outbreaks in care homes and hospitals

 on the island. Now, the focus has shifted to Gran Canaria, whose capital Las Palmas accounts for almost half of all the active cases on the islands. Gran Canaria was also the location of the latest coronavirus fatality on the islands – a man whose death was reported yesterday, making him the 166th fatality on the islands.