Iceland on alert for ship from Brazil with infected crew

Mar, 24, 2021 Posted by Ruth Hollard

Week 202113

Icelandic health officials went on alert because of a ship coming from Brazil with Covid-infected crew members. The country has been successfully controlling the pandemic by means of detection tests with an interval of five days for all those who arrive on the island by sea or by air.

But tests carried out last Sunday show that the ship Taurus Confidence, which docked in Reyðarfjörður, in eastern Iceland, has 10 of its 19 crew members infected. The vessel was taking calcined alumina from São Luís do Maranhão to the aluminum plant in Reyðarfjörður.

Contaminated crew members are kept in isolation and the others are quarantined on board the ship, under strict surveillance by the local police. As the entire crew is Chinese, the Asian country’s embassy has been informed and is monitoring the situation in cooperation with local authorities.

When consulted, the Icelandic Department of Health, which centralizes information about the Covid-19 in the country, confirmed that all ten infected crew members have the Brazilian variant, P.1. This information was confirmed by Kári Stefánsson, director of DeCode, a genetic research company responsible for sequencing all samples of Covid-19 patients in Iceland.

The finding left health officials on alert. Until now, Iceland was the only Nordic country to which the Brazilian variant had not arrived.

Even though the situation is under control, the authorities fear that if an infected person’s condition worsens, the patient will have to be transferred to a hospital for treatment.

According to Garðar Jóhannsson, director of Nesskip, the Icelandic shipping company that acts as the vessel’s local maritime agent, the ship’s captain had warned the port authorities the day before arrival that there were seven sick crew members on board.

Iceland has recently managed to control the third wave of pandemic contagions and has been recording very few new daily cases in recent weeks. The infections registered on Taurus Confidence on Sunday account for half of the cases confirmed last weekend.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in Iceland, 6,122 cases of covid-19 have been confirmed, 330 have required hospitalization, and 53 were admitted to ICU. The disease has caused 29 deaths in Iceland.

Source: Valor Econômico

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