Slowing the Spread of COVID-19 in Iceland

Vala Hafstað

At a press conference yesterday, health authorities revealed that confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Iceland are now 802, with 17 people hospitalized as a result of the virus – three of those in intensive care and on ventilators.

A total of 82 people have recovered from COVID-19. Further figures can be accessed on covid.is.

Thor Aspelund, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of Iceland, explained a statistical model, created by several professors and scientists at the University of Iceland, showing a likely course of the pandemic in Iceland.

He presented data, showing that health authorities have, with their measures, managed to prevent the number of COVID-19 cases from growing exponentially – limiting instead their rate of growth to numbers which do not overwhelm the healthcare system.

The prediction model for a likely development of the disease in Iceland is accessible on covid.hi.is. Updates are published twice a week and are eventually translated into English.

There, you can view graphs that show predictions for the total number of confirmed cases, active diagnosed infections each day, cumulative hospitalizations, hospitalizations each day, as well as the number of intensive care admissions and more.

A look at the graphs reveals that the pandemic will likely reach a peak the first week of April with about 1,200 active infections at that point (or 1,600, assuming a worst case scenario). By the beginning of May, the graphs show a drastically reduced number of new confirmed cases.

According to the model, the total number of confirmed cases could be about 1,500 during the pandemic, or about 2,300 in a worst case scenario, while people needing hospitalization could be 100-160. Thirteen people are expected to become seriously ill during the pandemic, or 23 in a worst case scenario.

Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason reiterated that health authorities plan to continue using the same tools as before in their fight against the virus, since they appear to be working well.

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