174 people in Iceland have died due to complications from the coronavirus in the first seven month of 2022, RÚV reports, due primarily due to two factors: the spread of the Omnicron variant and the relaxation of pandemic restrictions.
The 2022 coronavirus deaths comprise the majority of deaths to the virus since the start of the pandemic; Iceland has seen a total of 213 COVID deaths. There were 31 coronavirus deaths in 2020, and only eight in 2021.
While this may seem counterintuitive, as fear of the virus was at its greatest and our knowledge of how it worked was at its least early in the pandemic, epidemiologist Guðrún Aspelund told reporters that there are substantial reasons for the increased death rate.
The Icelandic government lifted all coronavirus restrictions last February. Guðrún says that infection rates reached great heights in February and March. Indeed, just weeks after the restrictions were lifted, one in ten Icelanders reportedly had the virus.
Come May, the Directorate of Health announced widespread immunity against the coronavirus had been achieved, running counter to another point raised by Guðrún, which is that infection rates also increased in June and July.
While the coronavirus death rates for August and September are not out yet, it is impossible to say whether we will see a decline in deaths from the virus, but Iceland has begun offering fourth vaccination shots.
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