From Iceland — Sweden In Unofficial Talks With Other Nordic Countries About COVID-19 Relief

Sweden In Unofficial Talks With Other Nordic Countries About COVID-19 Relief

Published January 6, 2021

Valur Grettisson
Photo by
landspitali.is

Unofficial discussions have been underway between Sweden and other Nordic countries, including Iceland, about helping the country in its struggle with COVID-19. The discussions have been underway by the Svalbard Group, which is a Nordic crisis unit that focuses on health care issues within the region, RÚV reports.

Guðlaug Rakel Guðjónsdóttir is one of the two Icelandic representatives on the committee. In a statement to RÚV, she explained that the issue is currently being discussed unofficially by the group. Sweden has not, at this moment, asked for any official help, though most of their intensive care units are currently full due to the pandemic.

The potential solution in discussion by the Svalbard Group is that neighbouring states would help out by taking Swedish patients into their intensive care units. It’s unlikely Iceland would be involved in this though, solely due to the country’s physical distance from Sweden. Currently, Norway and Denmark would likely be the best options.

Guðlaug Rakel also discussed the differences in hospital staffing between the Nordic countries and the possibility of lending essential health care workers between countries if needed. This, of course, is just in discussion, and at this time, no country has asked for help when it comes to hospital staffing.

The Nordic countries are still struggling with the pandemic, though Iceland is in a relatively strong position right now. Denmark is currently under a harsh lockdown with just over 1,400 fatalities from the virus. Norway’s death toll is 452 while 576 have died in Finland. Iceland, meanwhile, currently has 29 deaths. Sweden though currently has just under 9,000 deaths despite having just around two times Norway’s population.

All in all this could be a way to alleviate the suffering in Sweden due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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