COVID spread worries epidemiologist

20.07.2021 - 13:56
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: RÚV
44 new COVID-19 infections were recorded yesterday domestically and at the border. Most were outside of quarantine and located all over the country. The chief epidemiologist says he fears the virus will reach vulnerable sectors of the community if the number of infections continues to increase.

Þórólfur Guðnason, chief epidemiologist, says there is significant community transmission taking place between people who are fully vaccinated. The vaccine has prevented anybody from becoming seriously ill, but is not fully preventing transmission of the virus. Þórólfur says he fears more vulnerable people might start to become infected. 

“One has hoped that vaccination would provide good prevention of widespread infection and serious illness,” Þórólfur says. “We are seeing, however, continued spread among the vaccinated, so it seems that vaccination does not work well enough to prevent infection.” 

Þórólfur believes the infections are mostly of the Delta variant. “So really, it’s all about, if we want to have the upper hand against this pandemic, this wave that has now begun, then we don’t have any other measures available than those we have needed to take before.” 

Greater results from early intervention 

He says it is up for debate whether Iceland has yet reached the point of needing to reintroduce some domestic COVID controls, but says that the sooner controls are imposed, the better they work and the sooner they can be relaxed again. 

“If we just let the virus spread in society, then we will very likely see serious illness among very many. I think we just need to look at this not idealistically, but realistically.” 

Þórólfur says there is not the same level of solidarity among government ministers today as there was in the past, which is sad, in his opinion. 

"It doesn’t necessarily make much difference to the recommendations I have to make. I have a certain job and I must do it devotedly. Then it is up to others to decide which will be implemented and which not.” 

Click to follow RÚV English on Facebook.