From Iceland — Number Of New COVID-19 Infections Low But Present

Number Of New COVID-19 Infections Low But Present

Published August 12, 2020

Catherine Magnúsdóttir
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Since yesterday, four new domestic COVID-19 infections were detected, according to Fréttablaðið, making the total number of active infections 115.

This is one more than yesterday but this is due to three people being released from isolation.

No one was diagnosed infected during a screening at the border yesterday out of 3,105 samples taken. However, two people that had been awaiting results of the antibody test on Monday turned out to be actively infected, meaning five were diagnosed with the virus at the border on Monday.

A tourist travelling northeast also tested positive upon his second screening and is now in isolation along with four others in that part of the country, according to another Fréttablaðið report.

The local police is quoted saying that, “The good news is that there have not been many infections in recent days, so it’s at least not as steep a boom as it was during the first wave. The epidemiologist has therefore not proposed tougher measures in Iceland so far.”

According to Kjarninn, Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason said at a civil defense information meeting yesterday that the figures from the last few days look like it’s possible to control the group infection that spread at the end of last month.

In a memo that Þórólfur submitted to the Minister of Health this morning, he suggested continued screening for COVID-19 infections at the border in combination with quarantine, and added proposals for continued disease control measures in Iceland, albeit with some relaxations. Þórólfur says there is no need to intensify domestic measures.

“If the numbers of the next few days continue to show that we have managed this epidemic, I think we should be able to relax the restrictions in Iceland relatively quickly,” the epidemiologist said.

In a meeting today Þórólfur and Víðir Reynisson, Chief of Police, along with the guest of the meeting Þórunn Sveinbjörnsdóttir, chairman of the National Association of Senior Citizens, discussed current measures.

Þórólfur reiterated that he sees no reason to take tougher action, as few cases have been diagnosed in recent days and therefore there would “no reason to put everything out of the way in society.” However, if larger group infections occur, they may need to implement stronger measures.

He also says that it is important to have moderate measures in force at all times, instead of constantly tightening and relaxing them.

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