From Iceland — No Domestic COVID-19 Infections Yesterday But Three Detected At Border Screening

No Domestic COVID-19 Infections Yesterday But Three Detected At Border Screening

Published August 11, 2020

Catherine Magnúsdóttir
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No domestic COVID-19 infections were diagnosed in Iceland in the last 24 hours, although three active infections were detected at the border screening.

According to a report from Vísir, 289 samples were analyzed at the Department of Pathology and Virology at Landspítalinn and 3,105 at the border. 56 samples were analyzed at deCODE.

As of now there are 114 people in isolation in Iceland and 839 in quarantine, according to current data from Two are currently in hospital and one is in intensive care. The incidence of domestic COVID-19 infections, the number of infections per 100,000 inhabitants over the past two weeks, has dropped from 25.9 to 24.8 while the incidence of borderline infections ranges from 3.5 to 4.6.

Fréttablaðið reports that one of the three border cases was diagnosed with an active infection on Sunday, the other two were diagnosed yesterday and are awaiting the results of their antibody tests.

Update 11.08.2020 from

In a Facebook post from yesterday, public relations officer Ólafur Hauksson accused Kári Stefánsson’s company deCODE of contributing to the recent outbreak of the coronavirus in Iceland, by halting their screening efforts on short notice and therefore causing “a stop in screening for the virus in those who came from countries that were considered safe, causing the virus to enter the country again,” Ólafur writes.

Kári denies these accusations in an article he published on Vísir today, saying that deCODE had not stopped its efforts until Landspítalinn had been able to take over border screening measures. He goes on to say that the now widespread virus was not carried in by passengers from countries that are exempt from border screening.

“It is a virus infection with a pattern of mutations that is rare and could not be from one of the ‘safe’ countries that are exempt from screening,” Kári writes. There are currently six countries considered safe: Denmark, Norway, Germany, Finland, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

“When you combine the screening experience of deCODE and Landspítalinn, it is clear that very few infected people enter the country when screened. It is also clear that it is usually possible to prevent those who enter from causing great harm, but not always,” he writes in his piece.

Although previously Kári had also emphasised a higher risk of the virus spreading with more tourists entering the country and had called for a stricter enforcement of border policies, he had to concede that it’s unknown whether the resurgence of the coronavirus in Iceland was due to a foreign tourist or an Icelandic resident.

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