Seven patients in the Landspítali National University Hospital’s cardiac ward have tested positive for COVID-19. This was confirmed by Andri Ólafsson, the hospital’s public relations officer, in an interview with mbl.is yesterday.
According to a statement to the press sent by the hospital last night, the ward was temporarily closed down after the infections were discovered to allow staff to trace possible infections. Some of the healthcare workers at the ward have tested positive for the virus as well, but the hospital could not provide the numbers of infected staff at this moment.
Close to 900 cases confirmed yesterday
Records in daily COVID-19 cases have been broken almost every day for the past week. Yesterday, close to 900 cases were confirmed, which is by far the highest number in one day since the start of the pandemic.
Healthcare workers have warned that the current surge in cases will overwhelm hospitals in the country, as they lack the proper infrastructure to cope with such a high number of patients.
One of them, cardiac surgeon Tómas Guðbjartsson, said in an interview with Vísir last night that yesterday’s infections in the Cardiac Ward did not come as a surprise, given the current situation of the hospital. He stressed that the Landspítali National University Hospital is one of the biggest workplaces in Iceland. Therefore, an outbreak at the hospital had only been a matter of time.
Thousands of Icelanders have been in quarantine or self-isolation during the holidays. According to Guðbjartsson, this has severely affected the operations at the hospital.