Coordination Center Prepares for Novel Coronavirus

Vala Hafstað

The coordination center of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management in Skógarhlíð, Reykjavík, has been activated for planning, due to the outbreak in numerous countries of the novel coronavirus. Most of the cases of the virus have been in China.

The Department of Civil Protection declared a phase of uncertainty on Monday, due to the worldwide outbreak. No case of the virus has been confirmed in Iceland.

The purpose of activating the coordination center is mainly a preventive measure, intended to educate and coordinate reactions, should the virus be carried to Iceland. “We’re making plans; a contingency plan is in place, and we’re calling a meeting of people to discuss coordination,” states Rögnvaldur Ólafsson, assistant chief constable. “We’re laying the groundwork.

At the coordination center, there are representatives from the followining: the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management, the police, the national police commissioner, the Emergency Line 112, the central communication station of the national police commissioner, Landspítali National University Hospital, the Icelandic Coast Guard, the Red Cross, ICE-SAR (Icelandic Association for Search and Rescue), Isavia (which operates KEF Airport), and the Icelandic Road Administration.

There will be an emphasis on monitoring the spread of the virus and methods being used to fight it. “It is the role of the Department of Civil Protection and Emergency Management to ensure that the infrastructure is maintained. There can be strain on the infrastructure if many people get ill, and we want to be well prepared,” Rögnvaldur explains.

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