Fréttablaðið reports that a patient at Landspítali hospital has passed away from COVID-19 within the past 24 hours. This marks the ninth death from COVID-19 in Iceland to date; seven at Landspítali, one in Húsavík and one in Bolungarvík.
In all, 1,739 Icelanders who have contracted COVID-19, the condition caused by the coronavirus, reported infections have dropped considerably in recent days. 1,114 have made a full recovery, while 587 are still showing symptoms.
Stefánsson, a neurologist who was formerly a professor at Harvard University, said that in addition to an early commitment to widespread testing, Iceland’s government also deployed “an extraordinarily vigorous” system of contact tracing.
Stefánsson said the strong academic system in the U.S. is a vital weapon in the battle against Covid-19.
“You have all of this talent, all of this equipment in your universities, that could simply be drafted to apply to this epidemic,” he said. “You could have the universities do the testing. You could have the universities do the analysis of the data and help with planning how to deal with it.”
In related news, chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason announced yesterday that the possibility is being explored of having tourists visiting Iceland go into an immediate 2-week quarantine. This measure is already required of Icelanders returning home from abroad.
Jóhannes Þór Skúlason, the managing director of the Icelandic Tourist Board, expressed misgivings at the idea telling reporters that this would effectively make the country as good as closed, as no one visits Iceland just to go straight into quarantine.