The Canary Islands government is set to have relaxed lockdown conditions compared with the rest of Spain after reporting a low number of COVID-19 cases.
With Spain now reporting the second highest number of virus cases in the world, now higher than Italy and only behind the US, the Government of the Canary Islands is currently negotiating a different schedule of confinement measures to the rest of the country, according to local media.
Canarian officials are in contact with the Spanish Ministry of Health about a revised plan due to its low number of cases, the geographical location of the islands, situated off the western coast of Morocco, and the local population’s more pressing health problems.
Lluis Serra-Majem, spokesman for the Canarian government, said: “We have more problems with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and we do not want people to be inactive at home.”
Following a meeting on Monday between the scientific committee and the president of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres, the government spokesman said the viral spread on the islands is “very satisfactory in the number of infections, the number of hospitalisations and even the number of deaths”.
He added that the contagiousness index in the islands, which had previously reached over 5 and meant that every COVID-19 patient could infect five other people, had fallen to 0.6 by Monday, indicating that each carrier would not even infect another person, on average.
Serra-Majem said: “This has not been achieved by any government, you have achieved it by staying at home, you can be sure that is the case.”
He suggested that any reduced measures would be implemented in phases and in accordance with guidelines set by the Spanish government in Madrid.
Serra-Majem said: “Given the geographical and sanitary uniqueness of our islands, a commission has been created within the General Directorate of Public Health that will negotiate and discuss with the central government about how we could relieve confinement at a different rate to many of the other autonomous communities.”
He added that it “will be necessary to avoid crowds” and measures could be introduced that would “reduce the capacity of restaurants” as well suggesting that residents wear face masks to protect themselves while out and about.
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