A ship from Brazil has put Icelandic health officials on high alert. The Nordic country has succeeded in controlling the pandemic, thanks to five-day detection tests on all people who arrive on the island by sea or air.
But the ship Taurus Confidence, which landed in Reyðarfjörður in eastern Iceland, could jeopardize this control. The ship, which was carrying charred albumin from São Luís do Maranhão to the city’s aluminum plant, had 10 of its 19 crew members infected, according to tests carried out on Sunday.
Contaminated crew members are isolated and the rest are quarantined on board the ship, under strict local police surveillance. All the crew being Chinese, the Embassy of the Asian country has been informed and is monitoring the situation in cooperation with the local authorities.
Consulted, the Icelandic Ministry of Health, which centralizes information on Covid-19 in the country, confirmed that the ten infected crew members had the Brazilian variant, P.1, information endorsed by Kári Stefánsson, director of DeCode, genetic research company. responsible for sequencing all samples from Covid-19 patients in Iceland.
The discovery left health officials on the alert. Until now, Iceland was the only Nordic country in which the Brazilian variant had not arrived. According to the agency, all measures have been taken to monitor the condition of the crew and prevent this strain of the virus from spreading to the Icelandic population.
Even though the situation is under control, authorities fear that if an infected person’s condition worsens, the patient will need to be transferred to a hospital to treat Covid-19 infections.
The initial information, given by Garðar Jóhannsson, director of Nesskip, an Icelandic shipping company which acts as the ship’s local shipping agent, was that the ship’s captain had notified port authorities that there were seven patients on board. the day before arrival.
Iceland recently succeeded in controlling the third wave of pandemic contagions and recorded very few new daily cases in recent weeks. The infections recorded on board the Taurus Confidence on Sunday represent half of the cases confirmed last weekend.
The country of 369 thousand inhabitants confirmed, between Saturday and Sunday, 21 new cases – the 11 other contagions occurred in community form. Three of those people were not initially linked to the other cases and were detected outside of quarantine or isolation. This type of situation, in which undetected people move freely, is what puts the authorities on alert.
As a result of these new cases, 435 people are quarantined and 57 isolated in the country.
Since the start of the pandemic in Iceland, 6,122 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed, 330 have required hospitalization and 53 intensive care admissions, including 29 deaths from the disease.
As of Tuesday (23), 16,906 Icelanders (4.5% of the population) had received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine – the country uses vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna. Another 21,056 (5.7%) are awaiting the second dose. A total of 54,868 doses of the vaccine have already been applied in the country.