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2020 coronavirus pandemic in the Faroe Islands

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2020 coronavirus pandemic in the Faroe Islands
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationFaroe Islands
First outbreakWuhan, China (globally),
Paris, France (origin of first Faroese case)[1]
Index caseTorshavn
Arrival date4 March 2020
(4 weeks and 2 days)
Confirmed cases179[2]
Severe cases0 (1 hospitalized but not in ICU)[2]
Recovered91[2]
Deaths
0[2]

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have reached the Faroe Islands, an autonomous territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, in March 2020. With population of 51,783 ( as of 2019 ), on 29 March infection rate is 1 case per 325 inhabitants.

Background

The significant salmon farming on the islands requires test equipment to check for Salmon isavirus, which was repurposed in 2009 against the Pandemic H1N1/09 virus. The equipment was adapted to test for COVID-19, and ready by February 2020 to test 600 per day instead of waiting days for samples to be sent to Denmark for testing.[3] The usual epidemic strategy of testing and tracking disease cases has been abandoned in most countries because their health care system has been overwhelmed. The Faroe Islands is seen as an exception due to its large testing capacity relative to its population size; a miniature laboratory with lessons on how to handle the disease.[4]

Timeline

Below is a detailed description of how the virus spread according to news media in the Faroe Islands. Results were announced in the morning. These results were from swabs taken the day before.

Overview of the evolvement of the pandemic in the Faroe Islands.

Wednesday 4 March

On 4 March 2020, the Faroe Islands had its first confirmed case, a man who on 24 February[5] returned home from a conference in Paris, France. He had mild symptoms, and was placed in home quarantine.[1][6]

Friday 6 March

On 6 March, a second case was confirmed.[7] The second confirmed case was a woman returning home from Northern Italy. She returned home on 3 March and went in quarantine at Hotel Vágar.[8]

There was a lot of news coverage on the field trips of 300 students and teachers to France, because Glasir (Tórshavn College) decided to cancel the trip because of the corona outbreak, especially after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark had changed France from a green area to a yellow area, meaning that the recommendation went from "Be attentive" to "Be extra cautious."[9]

Thursday 12 March

The society slows down. Following the announcement on the evening of Wednesday 11 March, that Denmark would be shutting down, the Faroese government had a press conference on Thursday morning at 9:00 am announcing the measures that would be put in place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the Faroe Islands. The recommendations were as follows:[citation needed]

  • All international travel is strongly discouraged, unless absolutely necessary
  • All municipalities are urged to take measures regarding passenger cruise ships on their way to the Faroe Islands
  • Anyone arriving in the Faroe Islands from overseas must take the utmost precaution and stay at home
  • Restrictions on visitors to hospitals and nursing homes will apply. Further guidelines will be issued by the health and local council authorities
  • The school system, including tertiary, secondary and primary schools, will close. Students and pupils will wherever possible have access to remote teaching.
  • Children's activity centres, preschools and day care facilities will also close. Childcare will be offered to those who, for particular reasons, are not able to have their children at home during working hours.
  • All employees in the public sector who do not deal with the most essential services should work from home. Staff will receive further instructions from their respective directors.
  • Measures have already been taken in the private sector to guard against infection.
  • Bars, venues and restaurants are urged to close by 22:00 for the next two weeks.

Shortly after this announcement, Smyril Line announced that they would stop transporting passengers. They would allow the last passengers to get home, but with measures to prevent infected people to get on board, such as vetting them and checking their temperature, before they were allowed entry.[10][11]

Friday 13 March

On 13 March, the third case was confirmed.[12] There were 23 tests made the day before, and the only positive one was a woman who came from Denmark on 9 March.[13] The woman went to work in a kindergarten in Klaksvík on 10 March, which meant that her coworkers, children, children's parents and grandparents, as well as her friends were quarantined. Around 100 people were quarantined.[14]

On Friday evening, two new cases were confirmed, but these results belong to the statistics for confirmed cases on Saturday.

The fourth Faroe Islander was confirmed positive. This person was a student at Glasir, Tórshavn College, and he or she was infected on a study tour to Portugal. The students had not been to school since they returned from their trip.[15]

The fifth infected Faroe Islander arrived from Edinburgh, but it was not known when he arrived to the Faroe Islands. He was above 30 and from Tórshavn.[16][17]

Saturday 14 March

On 14 March, there were six new confirmed cases, bringing the total up to nine.[18] This was the result of testing 100 people the day before.[19]

Sunday 15 March

On 15 March, there were two confirmed cases, bringing the total count up to 11. On this date it was confirmed that 7 of the 11 infected were infected in other countries, while two were infected by people who already tested positive and were in quarantine. Altogether there had been administered 327 tests.[20] The two people who were infected in the Faroe Islands were staff at the kindergarten in Klaksvík where the infected woman worked.[21] By 15 March 327 people had been tested and 122 people were in quarantine.[20]

Before business resumed on Monday, the Faroese government announced four ways they would help businesses get through this crisis.[22]

  1. The government will pay companies back the salary of people who have been asked by the government to be in quarantine. People who can work from home are not covered.
  2. If companies need to decrease the amount of hours their employees work, the Faroese Employment Office will provide the lost income at a percentage of the maximum payment.
  3. Companies can pay their VAT 3 months late.
  4. The Danish Growth Fund can assist small and medium-sized companies with financing of operations.

Monday 16 March

On 16 March, seven new cases were confirmed, bringing the total to 18. These seven positive results came out of 190 tests made the day before, which means that there were 517 tests administered altogether.[23]

The biggest banks in the Faroe Islands, Betri banki and BankNordik announced that they would grant private and commercial clients respite for 6 months.[24][25]

Tuesday 17 March

On 17 March 29 new cases were confirmed, expanding the total number to 47. There were 190 tests administered the day before, bringing the total number of tests for COVID-19 to 703.[26]

The Faroese Epidemic Commission advised people not to gather in groups. They said that no more than 10 people should be together at once, inside or outside.[27]

The Chief Medical Officer in the Faroe Islands announced that at this point, most people have been infected within the Faroe Islands. Most of the infected live in Tórshavn or Klaksvík.[28] Klaksvíkar sjúkrahús started to test for COVID-19, making it easier for people in Eysturoy and the Northern Islands to get tested.[29]

Three employees at the National Hospital of the Faroe Islands were confirmed positive, bringing the total number of infected employees at this hospital to four.[30]

Scandinavian Airlines stopped flying to the Faroe Islands on 17 March.[31] The same day was the last day that Atlantic Airways was transporting passengers on their flights. Now they are only flying essential personnel and patients between Vagar Airport and Copenhagen Airport.[32]

Wednesday 18 March

On 18 March 11 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total up to 58. 933 people have now been tested altogether, so 230 tests were administered on Tuesday, and 247 people are in quarantine.[33]

The person who was first confirmed infected was confirmed recovered on 18 March. He and his family had been in quarantine at home, but they were now relieved from quarantine. They are all tested negative. He first started to show symptoms on 29 February and the people he had been in contact with, who were quarantined at home or at Hotel Vágar, have also been relieved from quarantine.[34]

Magn and Effo announced that they would close all gas station shops on Thursday 19 March in order to limit the spread of the virus. It was still possible to buy gasoline and diesel with credit card, as it was only the shops that were closed.[35]

Several ferries restricted the number of passengers.[36]

Thursday 19 March

On 19 March 14 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total up to 72. 1,221 people have now been tested altogether, meaning that there were 288 people tested on Wednesday.[37]

On this day, a lot of volunteers signed up to work at hospitals and nursing homes. 150 people signed up to help in the hospital, in case the hospital system would need extra staff. 93 people signed up to help nursing homes in two municipalities. People who volunteered were medical students, retired nurses, nurse students, assistant nurse students, health visitor students, and educators from kindergartens that were closed anyway.[38][39][40]

The second Faroe Islander was declared recovered from COVID-19. It was the woman who had been in quarantine in Hotel Vágar and who was Faroe Islander number 2 to be confirmed infected.[41]

Friday 20 March

By March 20, 8 new cases were confirmed, bringing the total up to 80. There were 420 people tested on Thursday 19 March, bringing the total number of administered tests to 1,641. The third infected person was confirmed recovered. More than 675 people were in quarantine on this day.[42] The Social Services system reported that it was operational, with reserve staff available. No users had been infected.[43]

On a press conference held on 20 March it was announced that all the changes the government had previously implemented for two weeks would last until 13 April, which was Easter Monday.[44]

On this day, Betri, a Faroese bank, insurance company and pension provider decided to donate DKK 10 million (equivalent of US$1.4 million) to Sjúkrahúsverk Føroya (the Faroese Hospital Service). The money was to be used for equipment and supplies that would help fight the coronavirus.[45]

5,000 people were expected to join the special crisis system set up within ASL, the Faroese Employment Office, on Monday, where they would get paid up to DKK 20,000 DKK a month. If 5,000 people would join, it was expected that this special system would cost DKK 108 million per month.[46] For example, around 180 people working for Atlantic Airways were signed up for this system, since the national airline had cancelled all commercial flights and would only be handling 3 flights per week between Vágar and Copenhagen. The airline would primarily be flying patients and Faroe Islanders who were working abroad.[47]

Saturday 21 March

On 21 March there were 12 new confirmed cases, bringing the total up to 92. It was also announced that so far, no one in the Faroe Islands had died from the coronavirus pandemic. Above 600 people were in quarantine.[48] 11 people were confirmed to have recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recovered people up to 14. This means that 14 people out of the 92 infected have recovered, leaving 78 people still infected. There had been made 301 tests the day before, bringing the total number of tests administered to 1942.[49]The national broadcasting showed a collage video of people singing together safely from individual homes as a way of keeping up spirits.[50]

The gender split is equal among the people tested positive.[51]

Data overview

Below is an overview of the data presented above.

References

  1. ^ a b Samuelsen, Ingi (4 March 2020). "Fyrsti føroyingur smittaður av corona". Dagur.fo (in Faroese). Retrieved 4 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Corona in the Faroe Islands". Retrieved 3 April 2020.
  3. ^ Petersen, Georg L. (25 March 2020). "Fish disease at root of successful corona testing". Kringvarp Føroya (in Faroese).
  4. ^ Karlsen, Rita (25 March 2020). "Færøyene som et minilaboratorium for koronastudie". Human Rights Service (in Norwegian Bokmål).
  5. ^ Nielsen, Jóanis (4 March 2020). "Fyrsti føroyingur smittaður av corona". jn.fo. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  6. ^ Hansen, Uni L. (4 March 2020). "Smittaði føroyingurin: Sum at hava vanligt krím". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  7. ^ Moesgaard, Tina Camilla (6 March 2020). "Opfordrer til at udskyde eller aflyse alle arrangementer i Danmark med over 1000 gæster". TV 2 (in Danish). Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  8. ^ Hansen, Uni L. (9 March 2020). "Góðar umstøður á Hotel Vágum". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  9. ^ Djurhuus, Høgni (6 March 2020). "Ferðin hjá 300 næmingum og lærarum avlýst". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  10. ^ Skúvadal, Gunnar (12 March 2020). "Smyril Line gevst at sigla ferðafólk". vp.fo. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  11. ^ "Kunning viðvíkjandi Covid 19 / Corona". Smyril Line. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  12. ^ Moesgaard, Tina Camilla (13 March 2020). "Nu er 785 bekræftet smittet med coronavirus i Danmark". Kristeligt Dagblad (in Danish). Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  13. ^ Prestá, Agnar (13 March 2020). "Triði føroyingurin smittaður við coronavirusinum". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  14. ^ Mirjamsdóttir, Elin (13 March 2020). "Umleið 100 fólk í Klaksvík í sóttarhaldi". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  15. ^ Skúvadal, Gunnar (13 March 2020). "Fjórði føroyingurin smittaður". vp.fo. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  16. ^ í Beiti, Ólavur (13 March 2020). "Fimti føroyingurin smittaður". vp.fo. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  17. ^ Prestá, Agnar (14 March 2020). "Fimti føroyingurin smittaður við coronavirusinum". Dagur.fo. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  18. ^ Bertholdsen, Áki (14 March 2020). "Corona: Seks føroyingar afturat smittaðir". in.fo (in Faroese). Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  19. ^ Heilsumálaráðið (14 March 2020). "Corona: Seks føroyingar fingu staðfest smittuna í gjár". Norðlýsið.
  20. ^ a b Ein føroyingur smittaður afturat | Kringvarp Føroya
  21. ^ "Trý starvsfólk í Mylnuhúsinum í Klaksvík smittað av Covid-19". Klaksvíkar kommuna. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Hjálparpakki til fyritøkur og fólk". Corona.fo. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  23. ^ Nielsdóttir, Alda (16 March 2020). "COVID-19: Nú eru 18 føroyingar smittaðir". Dagur.fo. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  24. ^ Johannessen, Johnsigurd (16 March 2020). "BankNordik bjóðar gjaldskáa í eitt hálvt ár". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  25. ^ Johannessen, Johnsigurd (16 March 2020). "Betri Banki fer at veita skáa". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  26. ^ Olsen, Símun Christian (17 March 2020). "47 føroyingar smittaðir við COVID-19". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  27. ^ Koba, Finnur (17 March 2020). "Tilmæli: Í mesta lagi 10 fólk kunnu savnast". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  28. ^ Olsen, Símun Christian (17 March 2020). "Landslæknin: Tey flestu eru smittað í Føroyum". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  29. ^ Olsen, Símun Christian (17 March 2020). "Klaksvíkar Sjúkrahús kannar nú fyri COVID-19". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  30. ^ Christiansen, Ása Abrahamsen; Mohr, Bjarni (17 March 2020). "Trý starvsfólk afturat smittað". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  31. ^ Koba, Finnur (16 March 2020). "SAS gevst at flúgva mikudagin". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  32. ^ Dahl, Arnfríð Joensen (17 March 2020). "Fleiri flogferðir avlýstar". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  33. ^ Koba, Finnur; Olsen, Símun Christian (18 March 2020). "58 føroyingar eru smittaðir". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  34. ^ "Fyrsti smittaði føroyingurin frískur aftur". Corona.fo. Føroya landsstýri. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  35. ^ Egholm, Sverri (18 March 2020). "Effo og Magn lata støðirnar aftur". Dagur.fo. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  36. ^ "Ferry transport limitations introduced". Kringvarp Føroya (in Faroese). 18 March 2020.
  37. ^ "Fourteen new corona cases". Kringvarp Føroya (in Faroese). 19 March 2020.
  38. ^ Mohr, Bjarni (19 March 2020). "150 fólk hava bjóðað seg fram at hjálpa". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  39. ^ Nolsø, Sólvit Emilsson; Hvidfteldt, Jón Brian (19 March 2020). "bannari 19.03.2020 - 19:47 VEKS biður um hjálp". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  40. ^ Christiansen, Ása Hammershaimb (19 March 2020). "Roðin: 15 fólk hava boðið sær til at hjálpa". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  41. ^ Olsen, Símun Christian (19 March 2020). "Ein frískur aftrat og sloppin úr sóttarhaldi". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
  42. ^ "Eight new corona cases". Kringvarp Føroya (in Faroese). 20 March 2020.
  43. ^ "How corona affects social services". Kringvarp Føroya. 20 March 2020.
  44. ^ Mirjamsdóttir, Elin (20 March 2020). "Tiltøkini halda fram til 13 apríl". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  45. ^ Mohr, Bjarni (20 March 2020). "Betri letur sjúkrahúsverkinum 10 mió. kr". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  46. ^ Hvidtfeldt, Jón Brian (20 March 2020). "5000 fólk á veg inn í ALS". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  47. ^ Nolssø, Sólvit Emilsson; Hvidtfeldt, Jón Brian (20 March 2020). "Vónandi fáa øll starvið aftur". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  48. ^ Dam, Rólant Waag (21 March 2020). "12 fólk fingið korona aftrat". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  49. ^ Dam, Róland Waag (21 March 2020). "11 frískir føroyingar aftrat". Kringvarp Føroya. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  50. ^ "Music video: United at a safe distance". Kringvarp Føroya (in Faroese). 23 March 2020.
  51. ^ "Fortysomethings most prominent in corona stats". Kringvarp Føroya (in Faroese). 27 March 2020.

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