Ibiza Covid Numbers Not Telling the Real Story

Last week was a very strange week in Ibiza. Months of low Covid numbers were superseded by a big spike that has got many scratching their heads. Now today we have a further 88 new cases, as many as the whole of last week put together.

The numbers in the Balearics are now so high that Germany, Holland & Belgium have added the Islands to the blacklist where those returning have to take a test or serve a 14 day quarantine/isolation period.

This time though it’s a very different sensation from before. Back in April and May the majority of Covid cases were admitted to Can Misses Hospital and their intensive care unit was busy (but thankfully not too busy). This time round nearly all new cases are being reported as asymptomatic or with very mild symptoms. Visible queues can be seen at local testing stations so it’s clear that more people are being tested. It may also mean that the virus is weakening.

So as the the growing numbers continue to published daily it’s clear that the testing landscape and parameters have completely changed yet without any further background information the numbers are rendered almost meaningless.

Out of the 80 or so new active cases reported last week only 2 were deemed serious enough to be admitted to hospital. The rest were asymptomatic or had mild symptoms and are ‘isolating at home’. 80 new cases may appear to be a high number but to give it some context, 300 people tested positive last week from 1 factory in Northampton in the UK (the same country who deemed the Balearics unsafe to travel to).

As Ibiza residents and business owners we need a general overview of who and what these new cases are. Data protection is in place so we don’t need names (this isn’t a witch-hunt) but are they locals? Are they international tourists? Are they large families or friends who live and work together? Are they national tourists? And most importantly how did they get the virus? There MUST be a pattern forming and only by fully understanding the situation can we evaluate accordingly and potentially avoid risky situations. Yet all we get are numbers and more numbers and very little else.

Meanwhile back in the real world Ibiza carries on regardless, beaches are packed and restaurants have waiting lists but, because of these numbers on a spreadsheet, bars are forced to close and other countries have to take action. Something is not adding up here and until we have full disclosure the mistrust of the authorities will continue and the conspiracy theorists will carry on unabated.

For an island that relies on visiting tourism it’s a baffling situation that we are only being told a small fraction of the story and left to fill in the blanks with speculation and hearsay. In fact it’s gross negligence as these numbers are causing widespread fear and preying on the minds of many whilst businesses are forced to put up a closed sign because of an invisible enemy that most of us have never seen first hand or been affected by.

The numbers aren’t telling us the whole story and after all we’ve been through it’s the very least we deserve and it’s unforgivable that many islanders are now living in fear without knowing the full facts.

Author: Martin Makepeace

Englishman living and working in Ibiza since 1991. Entrepreneur with a passion for villas, boats, sunsets and San Antonio. Read my blogs, listen to my podcasts and catch me on Radio One Mallorca every Tuesday morning.

13 thoughts on “Ibiza Covid Numbers Not Telling the Real Story”

  1. Dear Martin.

    I hope I can answer some of your valid questions. The principle reason that the numbers being admitted to hospital are currently so low compared to the first wave of the pandemic is simply that the demographic of those who are now testing positive are a much younger age group. The average age is currently 31 and as such these people are less likely to have serious complications and therefore the need to be admitted to hospital is much lower. Whilst that sounds encouraging on the face of it , the second wave which we have now entered across most of Europe will be a very different outcome to the first wave. Those 31 year olds +/- will unwittingly pass on the disease to mum and dad , grandma and grandpa and the lag factor will start to emerge in approximately 4 weeks time. Sadly this is the reality and a direct consequence of European travel being relaxed and the volume of people flying in and out of European countries. Ibiza is not unique in this respect and we are seeing a sharp uptick in positive testing now right across Europe. I hope this helps address your questions. The bottom line is there is no hidden agenda (not that you have stated there is) , it’s simply how this virus works. Sadly I can also confirmed it hasn’t weakened in strength either. It is very much alive and prevalent and upmost vigilance is now needed to contain a much larger and potentially more dangerous second wave. I’ll leave you with this thought. Europe does not have anything like herd immunity. At best our data suggests that only 6-7% of the population in Europe has been tested positive and therefore there is a huge swath of the population who is likely to catch it unless stringent measures are re applied. Those are the salient facts. Stay safe and well Sir.


      1. With respect it is my position to respond as I work in the field and have done for 20 yers. You write an article then expect everyone to agree with you ? That’s not journalism or correct me if I’m wrong. The problem Martin is you .. you make baseless statements without any knowledge or experience. Anyone that says “with respect“ shows little or no respect at all. I won’t continue to engage with you as clearly you know best. Take care of yourself as this virus is way way bigger then you.


    1. Again you are merely guessing the severity of the 2nd wave. This virus is no where close to as dangerous as authorities would have us believe.


      1. Jeff. Our data is exactly that. Data driven and evidence based. You will sadly see that our predictions and modelling are indeed correct. How you have the audacity to say it’s not as dangerous as authorities will have us believe is nothing short of ludicrous and without foundation. When you lose your first friend or your first relative (which you will) to COVID 19 you will understand the gravity of the virus. In the meantime remember this. Complacency kills. It’s really that simple.


  2. Thank you for highlighting these important issues. These are exactly the questions I’ve been asking.
    For all we know, all of these cases could be confined to one village, area, or hotel. Of course we don’t want/need a which hunt, but we do need more information.
    How many negative tests have there been? Surely that could also give us a better idea of how prevalent the virus is here.
    Increased testing must also be a factor.
    Many traveling to these areas which have now issued these restrictions, are doing tests here, which I don’t believe they were before.


  3. Do you have to pay for a covid test in all hospitals in ibiza or can you use your epic card in can misses hospital for free ?


  4. Steven Samuels I think your comments are extremely rude. Martin has kept everyone well informed throughout this pandemic and I believe a lot of what he writes is extremely informative and makes sense. Many people are always happy to receive updates from someone who lives on the island and can see first hand the changes on a weekly basis that are occurring. Everyone is entitled to an opinion of course but there is no need for ill manners.


  5. We can’t get answers because the answers would not add up to needing a global lockdown and the people would revolt. If what they are saying is the truth, then why hide so much from us? The ‘conspiracy theorists’ are simply asking the correct questions.


  6. Steven Samuels is absolutely part of the problem ……the “problem” is he will just not get that or indeed see it. Statistics, statistics and damned statistics!!.I have no wish to be rude in any way to Steven but his replies on this matter are riddled with emotive and quite aggressive tone. Classic so called “expert” keyboard warrior. We (and I mean the vast majority ) need to calm down the hysteria being whipped up around the world and look at this matter objectively and calmly in terms of what damage is the pandemic causing as opposed to the incalculable cost both monetary and physical/mental health. There is a classic expression in economics called the invisible cost which most if not all politician’s have no concept.


    1. I understand everyone’s frustration & the fact that Steven writes as if fact is part of the problem. Even the so called experts can’t agree – Ibiza’s case is that our numbers have largely spiked but hospital admissions are down & we haven’t had a death in months & the ones we did have were nearly all elderly with pre-existing conditions. This tells me that this virus is dissipating & isn’t half as bad as we have been led to believe but this is only my opinion and not fact.


  7. Does anyone anywhere in the world have definitive number for those that have died from Corona as opposed to those that have died with Corona. The UK govt has an addendum to the stats stating that UK deaths are noted as having died within 28 days of victims being confirmed with Corona . Without being frivolous in these hysterical times does that include being knocked down by a bus with Corona within 28 days of positive test ??


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