Iceland confirmed six additional cases of COVID-19 yesterday, bringing the country’s total up to nine. Eight of the individuals had travelled to Italy, while one had recently travelled to Austria. So far there are no cases of individuals contracting the infection in Iceland. Director of Health Alma Möller has asked healthcare workers to avoid travelling abroad in order to reduce potential strain on the healthcare system.
Prepare for healthcare workers’ quarantine
Around 300 Icelandic residents are currently under quarantine in the country, including six healthcare workers employed at the National University Hospital. All six returned to Iceland on Saturday via Munich, Germany, on the same flight as an Icelandic woman who later tested positive for the COVID-19. Measures are being taken to reduce strain on the hospital, such as transferring patients who have completed treatment there to two nursing homes. In a press conference yesterday, the Director of Health asked healthcare workers to avoid travelling abroad in order to reduce the likelihood they would have to be quarantined. The Directorate has also published guidance for frontline service staff in English, Polish, and Spanish.
City authorities and other organisations react
Reykjavík City Council decided yesterday to allocate additional funding toward preventing the spread of COVID-19, including toward additional cleaning. The Reform Party and Eve Online have postponed and cancelled upcoming conventions due to the uncertainty surrounding the virus. Icelandic authorities assert there is no reason to discourage public gatherings in general at this time, though the situation is being reassessed constantly.
Directorate of Health provides information
The Directorate of Health has published a health alert notice for travellers in Icelandic, English, and Chinese. Residents of Iceland returning home from high-risk areas are asked to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days and monitor their health.
For the most up to date information on COVID-19 in Iceland, readers are encouraged to visit the Directorate of Health website.