Athugið þessi frétt er meira en 4 mánaða gömul.

Covid picture improving

19.01.2022 - 12:36
Mynd: Júlíus Sigurjónsson / Almannavarnir
The tone at this morning’s civil protection agency press briefing was optimistic, as hospital admissions continue to fall despite the stubbornly high infection rate. Various changes to current procedures are in the works, especially aimed at getting children back to school sooner.
  • There are 33 covid inpatients at Landspítali national university hospital today, including three on ventilators in intensive care. This number is down from 66 in hospital three days ago. 8,290 are registered with the covid outpatients’ ward at the moment, including 2,995 children.
  • 1,488 positive PCR tests were processed domestically yesterday, and 93 in border testing, or 1,581 in total—the second-highest daily figure to date (after the 1,680 on 30th December). 
  • Chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason said that the hospital admission rate for the Omicron variant is around 0.2 to 0.3 percent, while it was around two percent when Delta was dominant. Þórólfur says the covid patients in hospital fall into three groups: those with serious covid complications, those who test positive when already in hospital, and those who test positive on admission. Children make up to half of new diagnoses and are less likely to get seriously ill. 
  • Þórólfur said that the effects of harder restrictions are not usually felt during the first week and that over a thousand new cases a day are still likely for now. The new computer model predicts up to 2,000 diagnoses a day, which could mean 46-77 covid inpatients by the end of the month, and 7-22 in intensive care. The proportion of inpatients requiring intensive care appears to be dropping, he said. 
  • The previous computer model from 6th January predicted as many as 90 inpatients by yesterday, and no fewer than 60. There were actually only 39. Between 12 and 27 were predicted to be in intensive care by yesterday, but that actual number was three. 
  • Þórólfur said various procedures are being eased, but that measures to minimise risk are also important. He specifically mentioned changes to quarantine and testing rules for children in that regard. 
  • 8,000 children were off school last week due to COVID-19—70 percent of whom go to school in the capital region.  
  • Asked if restrictions can be eased because only 33 are in hospital today, Þórólfur said changes to testing and the definition of quarantine are already counted as easing restrictions and are going ahead without any change needed to the current rules. He does not, however, want the country to remove restrictions too quickly. It is possible, however, that the isolation period could shorten further, to five days from the current seven. 
  • He has submitted a recommendation to the health ministry to end the requirement for double testing of people in "contagion prevention", which is a "light" version of quarantine that allows people to carry on many parts of normal life.

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