27.01.20

The spread of the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Today, on January 27th 2020, approximately 2,800 individuals have been diagnosed with 2019-nCoV and close to 80 individuals are deceased (2.8%). In addition, there are reports of serious illness in large number of individuals. No case has yet been reported in Iceland.

The reported cases are from China (2,775), Taiwan (5), Thailand (8), Australia (5), Malaysia (4), Singapore (4), France (3), Japan (3), South Korea (4), United States (5), Vietnam (2), Canada (1) and Nepal (1). The vast majority of cases originate in China.

The Chief Epidemiologist assumes that the virus will reach Iceland and it is therefore important to take measures to curb its spread as much as possible. However, no action will ensure that the virus does not reach Iceland.

In light of this information, the Department Civil Protection and Emergency Management in collaboration with the Chief of Epidemiology has decided to declare an uncertainty phase. Uncertainty phase means that relevant authorities are closely coordinating the response, monitoring the situation, and increasing information sharing.

The response of Icelandic authorities will be aimed at preventing the spread of the virus within the country, ensuring health services for possible cases and maintaining necessary domestic activities. The public and tourists in Iceland that think they have been infected with the virus are encouraged to call tlf. 1700 for more information and how to approach the healthcare system. Individuals with suspected or confirmed infection will be placed in isolation according to detailed instructions.

More information on the 2019-nCoV can be found on the website of the Directorate of Health.

All media inquiries are answered by Kjartan Hreinn Njálsson, Assistant to the Director of Health, at 663-3624 and via email kjartanh@landlaeknir.is.

Chief Epidemiologist

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