THE Ministry of Health has confirmed 18 more people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the Balearic Islands.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases to 44, with new infections detected in Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca.
Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, the Minister of Health, Patricia Gomez, explained that the situation would be very difficult to access until after the weekend.
“Immense effort is now being made to monitor those who have been in direct contact with the infected patients and we must reassess the situation on Monday,” said Gomez.
Gomez appealed for common sense, urging anyone who thinks they have been in close contact with a confirmed case to stay at home and await a call from the health authorities.
“We will provide you with information on what to do, but from the outset, you must stay at home.
“If you have respiratory symptoms, you should call 061 immediately,” added Gomez.
Out of the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, eight have been hospitalised and the remainder are being treated at home by the Coronavirus Homecare Attention Unit (UVAC).
Meanwhile, more than 9,000 calls relating to the coronavirus were received by the 061 emergency hotline in 24-hours, far more than the 3,000 expected by the Ministry.
“We ask for patience as in some cases our response may not be immediate since numerous queries related to the coronavirus have been made which are collapsing the health system,” added Gomez.
However, despite the overwhelming number of calls, she stressed that all hospitals on the three islands were prepared.
Citing Son Espases Hospital in Mallorca, Gomez assured that there were over 700 available beds and only 15 people were waiting in the emergency department on Saturday morning.
The minister also called on a ‘collective conscience’ among all citizens, in particular young people and those who have travelled to the Balearic Islands from other affected regions in Spain.
“Remaining inside and practising good levels of hygiene will stop the spread of the virus.
“We ask young people to not go out at night, to stay at home and have limited contact with their grandparents so as to not infect them because they are from a vulnerable group,” concluded Gomez.