The Hvammastangi village was isolated from the rest of the country after a winter storm and then the next months brought the novel coronavirus here. The locals were forced to practice isolation from each other. However, as the summer gradually approaches, the locals are hopeful to get back to a normal life.
The salons, clothing stores, schools, institutes, and all other businesses within the entire country are reopening on Monday after completing a six-week lockdown. After this, Iceland managed to control its COVID-19 outbreak. North Atlantic nation has 1,799 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus but only 10 of these people lost their lives.
Chief epidemiologist of Iceland, Thoroflur Gudnason said that he didn’t expect this fast kind of recovery. The country’s success in battling the novel coronavirus outbreak was fairly easy because of its small population, which contains 360,000 people only.
But this also reflects the unity and definitive controlling measures by its authorities. The authorities used the rigorous testing policy and strict tracking for finding the infected people. They isolated all the suspected people whether or not they had no shown any symptoms.
This plan has helped the country climate the pandemic with no need of turning to the complete social and financial shutdowns as implemented in numerous other European nations. Infected individuals and their connections were isolated; however, the remaining population was not forced with any lockdown of staying inside precautions. They were only asked to be “careful”.
The key to Iceland’s success was early vigilance. It reported and confirmed its first patient of the novel coronavirus on 28th February. Later on, on March 5th it announced Ischgl as a high-risk area.
Gudnason tells that from 2004, Iceland is trying to update and improve its testing and response to a pandemic. Hospitals are efficiently testing all travelers coming back to the country and many media campaigns are running to raise coronavirus awareness and urged people to wash hands and maintain social distancing. He added that each institute played its role actively while combating the battle with COVID-19 from the first reported case.
Authorities quarantined those returning from the novel coronavirus hotspots and started testings and tracing back them put every suspect into isolation. Other bigger countries like Britain also followed this approach, initially. But it has now abandoned testing and tracing in March after the coronavirus cases drastically increased along with their testing capacity.
Iceland has completed the screening tests of nearly 50,000 individuals and which makes somewhat than 13% of its population over a period of six weeks.
This testing yielded new leads for researchers on how the novel coronavirus progresses. Early findings suggested 0.6 percent of the population were the silent carriers of COVID-19 with mild or no symptoms.
DeCODE didn’t perform the test on those people who were already exhibiting the symptoms or were in quarantine. It only tested new cases with no previous test or symptoms before.