A CORONAVIRUS "super-spreader" from the Spainish mainland is believed to be responsible for at least 140 positive cases on the holiday island of Gran Canaria.
The hols favourite is battling escalating outbreaks which have put the island on the brink of a new lockdown unless the situation improves in the next two weeks.
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Health experts believe the coronavirus was introduced via the nightlife scene in the Guanarteme district of the popular resort Playa de las Canteras.
Super-spreaders are people who have the virus without showing any symptoms and probably not even realising they are carrying the potentially deadly infection.
They then unknowingly spread the virus among others.
Government officials have assured the authorities are watching the evolution of the virus very carefully and monitoring what action to take on a day to day basis.
Officials hope new measures such as the closure of all nightclubs, 1am closing for pubs and restaurants and extended rules on the wearing of face masks in public spaces will help beat the bug.
If the measures do not work, there will be localised or even island-wide lockdowns.
Professor Lluis Serra Majem, spokesman for the scientific advisory committee of the Government of the Canary Islands, said it is believed or more super-spreaders arrived from mainland Spain.
These arrivals are believed to be be responsible for at least 140 positives.
By islands, Gran Canaria continues to lead in the number of cases with 3,283 accumulated positives of which 2,481 are active.
The island has recorded 171 new cases since last Thursday.
Tough measures have been rolled out, such as banning jogging on the beach promenade during the day and banning sunbathing at high tide.
It comes as Spain continues to fight against a new wave of coronavirus infections – with daily cases creeping up from lows of 235 at the end of June to highs of 7,565 in August.
Gran Canaria has registered 46 deathsand 756 medical discharges, and the majority of cases – 2,095 – are in the island's capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The Canary Islands have registered 297 new positives in the last 24 hours, which represents a new record of daily infections – which was at 295 last Thursday.
It places the number of accumulated cases since the start of the pandemic at 6,442
In the space of just four days, police in Las Palmas issued 177 fines for breaches of the coronavirus safety regulations, the majority of them for not wearing a mask.
President of the Canary Islands, Angel Victor Torres warned that if people continue to flout the rules, penalties will be substantially increased.
He says 100 military trackers will reinforce the areas most affected by the rebound, mainly Gran Canaria and Lanzarote.
In addition, Gran Canaria's tracking team has gone from 89 to 158 and the local police will be making sure people tested positive and put into quarantine comply with the isolation.
Mr Torres said: "A person who receives the order to be quarantined for ten days must comply with it; it is an obligation of a sanitary nature but also of another nature, with the pertinent sanctions ."
Spain has seen a surge in coronavirus cases since it eased out of lockdown in June after being one of the worst impacted nations in Europe.
Cases have been creeping up, but after hitting a high on August 21 the daily case count has fallen away – not breaching 4,000 since August 22.
Any travelers returning to Britain from Spain still face a 14 day quarantine after the government dramatically knocked away the air bridge at the end of July.
Last week, Spain overtook the US in new daily confirmed coronavirus cases per million people.
However, Spain’s health ministry has been insisting in recent days that although the cases are rising, the current cases detected are milder and many asymptomatic.
And there is some hopes that air bridges could be able to open between the UK and hols favourites such as Majorca and Ibiza.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps suggested last week Spanish holiday islands could be added to safe travel lists in the future.
The Balearic Islands government campaigned to get the region excluded from the UK government’s new Spanish quarantine rule when it was introduced last month.
At the time the inclusion of the islands sparked uproar among tourists as the rates of infection were far below that of mainland Spain.
A spike in the number of new cases later led to health chiefs in the Balearics admitting the islands were facing a second wave.
However, health chiefs announced 185 new Covid-19 cases late on Friday, down from 525 on Thursday and 336 on Wednesday.
The rise in the number of new coronavirus positives was the lowest since the previous Thursday, when officials confirmed they had registered 194 new cases.
Balearic Islands’ government spokesman Pilar Costa has said tougher measures may be introduced as the region seeks to combat its second wave of Covid-19 cases and rescue what is left of the tourist season.
She warned today: “If the figures are not positive, we will have to toughen the measures.
“Only if the new restrictions have the desired effect can they be loosened.”
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