Advises Cancellation of Unnecessary Trips to China

Vala Hafstað

Þórarinn Guðnason, chief epidemiologist in Iceland, recommends that travelers cancel any unnecessary trips to areas in China affected by the coronavirus, known to cause pneumonia, coughs, fever and breathing difficulties.  This applies in particular to the Hubei province. This morning , Chinese authorities had confirmed 4,515 cases of people infected by the virus, and 106 deaths have been confirmed, mbl.is reports. 

Þórarinn encourages those traveling abroad, especially those who are traveling in China and elsewhere where people have been infected, to follow well all travel restrictions imposed by Chinese authorities. He advises people to focus on good hygiene, especially by washing their hands well, and to avoid close contact with individuals who have common cold symptoms, and to avoid close contact with wild animals or animals at public markets. He advises people to cover their mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

He told mbl.is yesterday that health care officials in Iceland are preparing for the possible spread of the virus to Iceland. “That is our approach - that this will arrive in Iceland… We try to prepare as well as possible,” he stated. “We prepare for the worst, hoping it won’t happen. But we assume it will arrive here,” he reiterated.

Passengers arriving in Iceland via Keflavík International Airport will be notified that if they have symptoms of a respiratory infection and have visited Wuhan, China, in the past 14 days, or have been around individuals that could be infected, then they must undergo medical assessment at the airport, after which it will be determined whether isolation is needed.

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