Three Cases of COVID-19 Confirmed in Iceland

Vala Hafstað

Three cases of COVID-19, the novel coronavirus, have now been confirmed in Iceland, mbl.is reports. The second and third cases were confirmed yesterday, after the first case had been confirmed on Friday. All three people diagnosed were recently in Italy.

The second and third individuals diagnosed with the virus had been skiing in Italy and arrived in the country on Saturday with Icelandair. One of them, a male, arrived from Verona, Italy, while the other one, a woman, came from Munich, Germany. About 300 people are now in quarantine in Iceland, including all 180 people who were on board the flight from Verona (excluding the captain and co-pilot).

The people diagnosed yesterday are both showing symptoms of the illness - a cough, fever and bone aches, but the symptoms are not severe.

Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason states that authorities are responding decisively to the first cases in an effort to limit the spread of the disease. As a result, Icelanders are now advised not to take any unnecessary trips to Italy, and everyone who has arrived from Italy since Saturday, regardless of where in the country they came from or what way they traveled to Iceland, is asked to stay in quarantine at home for two weeks. This, Þórólfur states, is a tougher approach than other nations have taken.

A husband and wife, who recently returned from northern Italy, have been in quarantine at home for a week, since the woman showed flu-like symptoms two days after their return. A sample taken from her, however, proved negative. They are required to remain in quarantine for a total of 14 days.

People who notice symptoms of illness and who have potentially been exposed to the virus, for example due to travel in risk areas, are encouraged to call the number 1700 to receive instructions on how to proceed. If you’re calling from a foreign number, dial +354 544-4113.

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