There are now 16 confirmed cases in Iceland of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, RÚV reports. Thus far, these have all been Icelanders returning from Verona, Italy or Austria. All have been placed under quarantine.
Medical professionals are working fast to test samples of those already under examination, but so far no one has been seriously ill from the virus.
Those who have tested positive or have returned from high-risk areas have been set in 14-day quarantine. As people need to work for a living, this naturally raises the question: who supports them?
Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir told RÚV that the government, management and labour unions have been in negotiations as to who will be paying who while under quarantine, but the main detail is that everyone agrees that no one should miss revenue on account of being under quarantine—especially as such a quarantine is to protect the health of the general public.
The Directorate advises that if you have been to a high-risk area for the virus recently, or been in contact with anyone who has, to monitor your health closely. High risk areas include “China, four provinces in Northern Italy (Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, and Piedmont), South-Korea, and Iran”.
If you begin to display symptoms of COVID-19 within 14 days of such contact, you are urged to call 1700 from an Icelandic phone number or +354 544 4113 from any other phone, where a health care professional will give you further information and guidance. The symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and aches in the bones.
To prevent transmission or contact with the virus, the cardinal rule is to wash your hands frequently before eating and after touching common surfaces, and avoid touching your face. If you must sneeze or cough, do so into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue. It also naturally follows that you should avoid contact with sick people.
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