Eleven Recent Cases of British Variant of Coronavirus in Iceland

Vala Hafstað

The 29th death in Iceland due to COVID-19 was reported by Landspítali National University Hospital yesterday. The patient passed away at the hospital Monday. This is the 19th COVID-19 related death during the third wave of the pandemic in Iceland, Morgunblaðið reports.

At yesterday’s press conference, Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason stated that 11 people had been diagnosed with the British variant of the coronavirus at Iceland’s border shortly before Christmas. Ten of them were arriving from the UK and one from Denmark. This brings the total number of confirmed cases of the British variant of the virus in Iceland to 13.

Þórólfur pointed out that part of the reason why the number of such cases is this high here could be that sequence analysis is done of all coronavirus samples taken in Iceland, while such analysis is only done of 10-20 percent of samples in other countries.

He stressed that even though vaccinations have begun in Iceland, the fight against the coronavirus is not over, and it is important to keep practicing our individual disease prevention methods.

Director of Health Alma Möller stated that a total of about 7,500 people in Iceland have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 316 of whom have required hospitalization, including 53 who needed intensive care. Many of those who have gotten ill have had to deal with serious lingering symptoms, and some have been unable to return to work.

She stated that the British variant of the virus, which has numerous mutations, now accounts for more than 70 percent of COVID-19 cases in the UK and that its R is 0.5 higher than that of other variants. The R indicates how contagious a disease is, that is, how many people on average will contract a disease from one infected person. 

For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit covid.is

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