Most cases related to Bankastræti and London

21.07.2021 - 18:00
Mynd með færslu
 Mynd: Guðmundur Bergkvist - RÚV
Majority of the most recent coronavirus infections can be traced back to the night club Bankastræti in Reykjavík and a group of people that came from London, according to Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason. He says that there is a considerable amount of Covid cases which have seeped through the border.

Þórólfur says that it is clear what response he will propose to be taken, should it get to that point. On the other hand, it is still uncertain when this might happen. “But reacting quickly will always be the better option,” he says.

“Most of the infections in the past few days have come from night clubs in Reykjavik, in Bankastræti but also from a group from London,” Þórólfur said in an interview with reporter Hólmfríður Dagný Friðjónsdóttir. “We are however seeing many different variants of the virus, which tells us that many of those who have been crossing the border have been carrying the virus.”

In total there were 56 cases yesterday within the country. The most in nearly nine months.

Fully vaccinated person hospitalized with COVID-19

“One person, who had been sick for some time, was hospitalized yesterday, due to pneumonia. This was a fully vaccinated individual, in their sixties. This is progressing as one would expect” says Þórólfur. Previously there had been reports of a woman that was hospitalized with COVID-19.

“It is clear to me that we are going through a surge in infection throughout the society” says Þórólfur. Most of the infected individuals are fully vaccinated. “So far we don’t have many cases of people getting seriously ill. There hasn’t been an increase in people needing to be admitted to the National Hospital (Landspítali) but that could change very quickly.”

Þórólfur says that serious infections can rise on very little notice. He fears that the more the virus keeps spreading the more likely it will eventually reach groups which aren’t as well protected against it. This could cause serious incidents to arise.

Similar measures as previously

“We are consulting together and with the government. We are keeping an eye especially on the serious cases and the numbers of hospitalised,” explains Þórólfur. “It is obvious that our aim is to limit the spread of the virus, and it is better to do sooner rather than later”.

He also explains that it is not possible to say which measure will be chosen to implement and when. If need be, we will resource to the same measures as we had before.

Would be good to limit the gatherings

Numerous festivities are planned this and the next weekend. No official limitations have been implemented yet. “It would obviously be preferred to limit the number of people meeting together but this is in the hands of the government and mine to decide. We are also encouraging people to stay safe and to sanitise” he added.

The vaccination increases immunity but does not protect from infection

Chief Epidemiologist explains also that the vaccination rate is high which increased the immunity of the society, even though it is mostly vaccinated who are now COVID positive. The information from Israel, where great part of the country have been vaccinated, indicates that also those who received a jab can show serious symptoms of COVID-19.

“We can see that the delta variety of SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the present wave of infections”.

“If I were to propose some actions, I know exactly what to do. I am not sure when though,” said Þórólfur. Therefor he cannot say if the new regulations will take effect before the big celebrations of the merchants’ weekend – verslunarmannahelgin.

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