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29 local fishermen complete basic safety course

foto 2020 curs pescadors 2Last week 29 islanders with jobs in the local fishing industry took part in basic safety training organised by the Formentera Department of Agriculture and Fishing in association with the Balearic office of fishing, Palma’s Integrated Centre for Vocational Training in Nautical-Fisheries (CIFP Nàuticopesquera) and the Formentera Fishermen’s Guild.

Attended by FFG members and mandatory for any individual employed on a local fishing fleet, the hands-on course offered participants techniques to assist in survival, prevention and firefighting.

Department councillor Josep Marí pointed out that the classes were organised in such a way as to minimise travel, particularly at the present time. He praised the whole team’s efforts and highlighted the fact that no one’s accreditation required travel to Mallorca.

21 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

New Covid cases push Formentera to tier 2 protocol

foto 2020 covid nivell 2Consell de Formentera president Alejandra Ferrer and Balearic government spokeswoman Pilar Costa appeared before representatives of the media to offer an assessment of the epidemiological situation on Formentera.

Ferrer explained that the island’s government had opted to press the Govern balear for tighter restrictions in a bid to curb local spread of Covid-19. The Balearic ministry of health will approve raising the pandemic response to tier 2 on Monday, with the change to take effect 22 December, a day later. Once again the president encouraged islanders to be responsible in the run-up to Christmas, and stressed the importance of establishing “stable bubbles” for the festivities ahead.

“Caution and responsibility are crucial”, said Pilar Costa. “Fortunately the islanders who have tested positive show mild symptoms or none at all, but viral loads and contagion capacity mean we need to exercise the utmost caution. We’re asking everyone to keep playing by the rules; if we protect ourselves we’ll protect our loved ones too.”

Epidemiological developments
For the seven-day period starting 11 December, local cases out of 100,000 more than quadrupled when they leapt from 74 to 300. The week brought diagnosis of 35 new infections, thirty in the previous three days. At the same time, the rate of positive tests has climbed from 8.6% to 19.6% to more than double.

Levels under both indicators easily surpass European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s benchmarks —3% positivity and 60 cases per 100,000— to qualify an area as at risk.

Vulnerable individuals are prevalent among the new infections: islanders over 65 now represent 273.4 cases in 100,000; on 11 December, the figure was zero.

Finally, traceability has fallen among the new cases: 60% on 11 December, the figure has dropped to 50% a week later.

Key changes
Passage from tier 1 to 2 will mean the adoption of more restrictive measures: the twenty-person limit on outdoor gatherings will be halved, going from ten to six for indoor spaces. Bars and restaurants must additionally reduce capacity depending on the risk levels they face: medium risk establishments with space for 50 will need to cap admission at 70%; spaces where capacity normally exceeds 50 may accept no more than half that number. High risk establishments must fix capacity at 40%. Until now up to ten individuals could be sat at the same indoor table; the number will now be lowered to six. Under tier 2 protocol bar and restaurant managers can fill outdoor seating to 75% of normal capacity or a maximum of ten to a table, while under tier 1 standards the per-table limit was 15. Tier 2 protocol means bar service is also against the rules, as are, in another key change, traditional feast day celebrations.

19 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

Haemodialysis service

foto 2020 carta dialisiFRANCINA ARMENGOL

Formentera, 17 December 2020

Madame President,

Healthcare services at the national and regional levels are deeply impacted by the public health crisis in which we are today immersed. We are aware of this fact, as we are aware of efforts in the Balearics to guarantee a quality public service for all, no matter the illness. Nevertheless, the declaration of emergency orders affected certain islanders particularly, and some of these circumstances have yet to be put right, requiring immediate attention. I am referring to dialysis treatments.

Under the state of emergency, dialysis patients residing on Formentera were made to travel to Eivissa receive treatment. Severely reduced ferry service meant this was no easy endeavour, as it amounted to spending an entire day on our sister island. The situation would be inconvenient for any Formentera resident, but in this case those affected were people suffering ill health.

The patients’ situation has remained unchanged since the lifting of emergency orders. They are still called upon to travel to Eivissa, an undertaking that involves three days per week of ferry travel at the very least.

We must put ourselves in the places of these doubly vulnerable individuals. The first risk they face is on account of the chronic illnesses they suffer. The second is on account of Covid-19. Frequent travel magnifies both.

These individuals’ suffering has galvanised islanders’ sense of solidarity, apparent in the 2,829 signatures which we share with you today. In September, plenary members of the Consell de Formentera voted to urge the regional government to reinstate dialysis on Formentera, not least because our hospital, having already provided the service in the past, is already equipped with the necessary machinery and personnel. In June representative Sílvia Tur proposed a non-legislative motion for debate in the Balearic commission on health, and more recently, local decision makers approved an amendment to the Formentera budget creating funding to reinstate the service.

I, myself, as president, have had the opportunity to sit down with an association of Formentera dialysis patients and to hear their description of the situation.

These patients and I speak for the Consell de Formentera and all of the undersigned when we insist on the following point: There must be a way to reinstate dialysis treatment on Formentera and improve the quality of life of these already vulnerable patients.

May the signatures collected and here attached support our call for a hasty restitution of dialysis service, taking into account the ongoing public health crisis and the affected individuals’ distinct vulnerability.

We welcome any efforts to respond to this issue in greater depth, and to shape collaboration or proposals to deliver resolution.


Patient representatives

Alejandra Ferrer
President, Consell Insular de Formentera

Formentera enhances local energy management with new info and monitoring system

foto 2020 SIEThe Formentera Environment Department announces a newly introduced system aimed at improving management and savings of energy on the island. Dubbed SIE for sistema d’informació energètica, the scheme paves the way for real-time monitoring of electricity, gas and water use in buildings and lighting installations on the island.

According to environment councillor Antonio J. Sanz, the system “generates energy efficiency data by pinpointing structures with the greatest potential for energy savings and where advanced monitoring and remote management systems could be useful”. The councillor described SIE as “a more agile and efficient way to view and compare data, and one that will help us implement energy savings and efficiency solutions”.

Municipalities commit to clean energy
The Consell de Formentera joined municipal leaders across the Balearics by writing SIE rollout and a host of other energy efficiency and renewable energy measures into a regional compact for climate and energy that was backed by the European Commission. The EC views climate change as a global problem with local solutions: cities generate emissions, but they must also be the sources of new innovative ideas and projects to fight global warming.

SIE is currently in use at more than one thousand public buildings run by roughly twenty Balearic municipalities.

18 December 2020
Communications Department
Consell de Formentera

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