Record Number of New COVID-19 Cases in Iceland

Vala Hafstað

A total of 167 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Iceland yesterday — the highest number of new cases in one day since the pandemic started, mbl.is reports. The 14-day incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants has soared to 370.1, according to covid.is.

A sharp rise COVID-19 cases in Iceland in recent days makes it likely that stricter domestic measures will be imposed anew. Yesterday, Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason sent a memo to Minister of Health Svandís Svavarsdóttir, containing suggestions for new restrictions, Morgunblaðið reports.

Those are being discussed at a government meeting this morning.

When asked yesterday whether she’s worried about decreasing solidarity in society concerning disease prevention measures, Svandís responded, “Time will tell how that goes. Along with those measures, we’re launching a booster vaccination effort, which hopefully will increase immunity in society. We’ll be responding in those two ways at once, which we know to be effective.”

She noted that stricter measures are needed for the healthcare system to be able to handle the situation. “Other nations are facing the same challenge these days,” she noted. “This involves protecting people’s lives and health and making sure the curve won’t rise too high for the [healthcare] system to handle.”

Meanwhile, Þórólfur Guðnason emphasizes that being vaccinated against COVID-19 gives people about 50 percent protection against becoming infected and is very helpful in protecting against serious illness from the disease. A total of 89 percent of Icelanders aged 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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