The number of COVID-19 cases has increased rapidly since the beginning of June, with recent figures showing 44 individuals are currently hospitalised. Three of them are in intensive care.
Deputy Epidemiologist Kamilla Sigríður Jósefsdóttir told Fréttablaðið the hospital admissions are mainly for older people, but that it is not the only group being admitted.
“The most serious illness, the intensive care unit, has mainly been unvaccinated individuals of various ages” says Kamilla.
Landspítali’s employees are also experiencing high rates of infections, reports Fréttablaðið. There are currently 67 Landspítali employees in isolation due to COVID-19, but this number has decreased since last week.
Last Thursday, 95 hospital employees were in isolation, which was the largest number of infected employees since March 28.
Kamilla says there is no particular sign that the BA.4 or BA.5 variants that are now affecting Icelanders are more serious than before nor are there special new symptoms.
“Vaccinations seem to continue to protect against serious illness. However, individuals with high underlying risks, especially those who are immunocompromised, may benefit less from the vaccine and may become seriously ill,” Kamilla says.
Kamilla believes public restlessness has contributed to the large increase because people are generally not getting tested for COVID.
“I think people have written off COVID a bit because the COVID rules have been repealed. Even those with underlying diseases or who are unvaccinated do not take the tests. They do not take tests or even just take-home tests and do not contact the health service, which could then warn them and encourage them to seek help to get treatment to prevent serious illness,” says Kamilla.
She encourages people in general, but especially those at high risk, to be careful and test if they experience symptoms.
“It is best for people with underlying risks to take a confirmation exam as soon as possible and contact their healthcare provider for guidance on how to get appropriate treatment,” Kamilla says.
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