THROUGHOUT the month of September, the Canary Islands have managed to stabilise Covid-19 infections and bend the contagion curve, giving residents a sense of optimism.
One of the parameters that specialists consider essential to monitor the growth of the Covid-19 pandemic in a region is the cumulative incidence (AI). That is, the number of cases diagnosed per 100,000 inhabitants in a given period of time.
In the Islands the AI for the last seven days is 54, while last Friday it was 67 and at the beginning of the month it reached 107.
In this way, the index has been reduced by half in three weeks, a matter that the President of the Government of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, related on Sunday, September 20, with the measures that were adopted in August to stop the advance of Covid-19 infections.
That the situation is more controlled in the Archipelago is also reflected in the positivity index, that is, the number of positive cases of Covid-19 infections found by the total of PCR performed, which has dropped to 5.09 per cent on average. This index, together with other aspects such as the gradual reduction of new daily cases, according to what the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that the second wave of the coronavirus in the Canary Islands is close to being controlled.
Also, on Sunday 127 new positive Covid-19 infections were found, a figure that maintains the downward trend of infections in the Canary Islands. In fact, that is the lowest number of new infections in just over a month, on August 19. This figure is related to the low number of new positives that have been found in Gran Canaria, which only accumulated 50 new cases, the lowest increase, meanwhile, in 35 days. Tenerife accumulated 58 new infections, Fuerteventura 10, Lanzarote 8 and La Gomera 1.
The decision to screen the schools of Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, due to the higher incidence of the Covid-19 infections in some of its municipalities, has shown the true diagnostic capacity, which has doubled the number of PCRs it carried out daily.
As a consequence of a much more exhaustive collection of samples, the microbiology laboratories of the Canary Islands hospitals have been able to carry out a number of PCRs closer to their maximum daily diagnostic capacity, which, according to the Ministry of Health, is around 10,000 PCRs, that is, 464 for every 100,000 inhabitants.
So far, and throughout the second wave, the Canary Islands have been performing some 2,481 daily diagnostic tests, reaching almost 4,000 on September 1. However, the real qualitative leap was seen on September 19, when they carried out 7,262 molecular tests, lowering the positivity index to 3.33 per cent, a percentage that had not been seen since the beginning of August.
The day before, they made almost 6,000. This high number highlights the ability of the Canary Islands to rapidly screen its population.
However, Óscar Díez, head of the Microbiology service of the Hospital de La Candelaria, explained that the current method of collecting samples slows down the entire diagnostic process. It is because it requires specific knowledge – which allows the sample to be taken effectively to avoid false negatives.
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