Minister of Finance Bjarni Benediktsson has tested positive for the coronavirus, RÚV reports. He disclosed this himself yesterday in a post on Facebook.
Bjarni is the fourth MP for the Independence Party, after Birgir Ármannsson and Óli Björn Kárason, and the first minister, to be diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Bjarni says that he went and got a PCR test as a precautionary measure before a government meeting to be held this morning. “It’s not good to say where or when I got infected, but there have been infections near me, both at work and in my immediate family, as with so many others these days.”
He is without symptoms at the moment, and hopes to remain so. “I encourage everyone to exercise caution due to the extensive infections in this society,” he added. “Solidarity has produced great results towards this ended, and is the key to making more progress.”
Barely 14 hours later, RÚV also reported that Minister of Innovation, Industry and Universities Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, also of the Independence Party, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Like Bjarni, she also took a PCR test in advance of the government meeting, and is also symptom-free. Shortly thereafter this was reported, Foreign Minister Þórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörð Gylfadóttir, also of the Independence Party, also disclosed she tested positive for the virus.
Unsurprisingly, five government ministers were absent at the government meeting this morning. Justice Minister Jón Gunnarsson was present, but neither Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir nor Minister of Food, Fishing and Agriculture Svandís Svavarsdóttir were seen.
Despite this, Katrín is confident that the government can pass its budget proposal for the coming term.
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