From Iceland — COVID-19 Spreading Slower In Iceland

COVID-19 Spreading Slower In Iceland

Published March 27, 2020

Sam O'Donnell
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Good news! COVID-19 is spreading slower in Iceland than in most other countries in the Schengen region. This is despite the fact that there are proportionally more tests conducted here than in most other places. Only the Faroe Islands have reported more samples than Iceland.

“At the beginning of an epidemic, such growth is usually in the so-called exponential growth stage, and there is a huge increase in infections in the environment and between people,” Thor Aspelund, professor of demography at the University of Iceland, told RÚV.

Measures such as the gathering ban and the widespread application of quarantine and isolation has helped to slow COVID-19’s spread. “We can see from the results that this expected exponential growth has been transformed into this slow-moving process, and that is of course the way to seize the epidemic,” Thor said. “It’s spreading slowly, and we know a lot more about the disease in society because we are testing so much.”

And tests are no longer in short supply now after about 6,000 swabs were found in the warehouse at Landspítali. Prosthetic manufacturer Össur will also provide around 20,000 more swabs from their warehouse for further testing.

As of this writing, a total of 802 people have been diagnosed with the virus. 17 are in the hospital, three of which are in intensive care. 82 have recovered. Keep isolating and social distancing, folks. It’s working!

UPDATE: Originally we said that Össur would produce the swabs for testing. They do not manufacture or produce the swabs domestically. The wording of this article has been changed to clearly reflect that.

As ever, those looking for more information or advice should go to the Icelandic Government’s excellent COVID-19 help page.

Tune into our daily COVID-Cast for a deeper dive into the day’s developments.

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

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