A 200-person gathering limit, one-metre distancing, and restricted opening hours for bars and nightclubs will be reimposed in Iceland just four weeks after all domestic restrictions due to COVID-19 were lifted. The restrictions are based on recommendations from Chief Epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason and were decided on at a lengthy cabinet meeting today. At a briefing in Reykjavík yesterday, Þórólfur stated that COVID case numbers were rising at an exponential rate despite the country’s high vaccination rates.
On June 26, Iceland lifted all domestic restrictions due to COVID-19, one year and four months after the very first social restrictions were imposed due to the pandemic. The country also loosened border restrictions on July 1, allowing travellers with proof of vaccination or previous infection to enter the country without testing or quarantine. Infection rates have risen over the past two weeks, and Iceland now reports 371 active cases, up from 60 cases just eight days ago.
Europe has seen major changes in coronavirus case rates over the last two months. In many areas of Europe covid case rates have dropped sufficiently to allow restrictions to be eased, but there are notable exceptions. The Covid-19 rate in Spain now appears to be as bad, if not worse, than two months ago, and the Netherlands has seen a dramatic increase in numbers recently.
In the case of both Spain and the Netherlands, the rates increased following the decision to unlock their countries too quickly, and in both cases those decisions have had to reversed within weeks. Greece too appears to be seeing a new wave, and these areas now represent the largest threat to Europe’s strategy to keeping infection rates down.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday that democratic governments can make vaccinations obligatory, in a landmark judgement rejecting complaints brought by Czech families penalised for refusing compulsory jabs for their children.
“The… measures could be regarded as being ‘necessary in a democratic society'” the court ruled, saying that the Czech health policy was consistent with the “best interests” of children.
Our opinion: ** Is there an easier or quicker way of antagonising parents in the middle of a global viral pandemic than encouraging mandatory vaccinations? We can’t think of one. Expect severe blowback **
“Wheezing, chest or stomach pain, swelling or coldness in an arm or leg, severe headache or worsening or blurred vision after vaccination, persistent bleeding, small multiple bruises, reddish or purplish spots or blisters of blood under the skin” – if you have these symptoms after vaccination against Covid with AstraZeneca serum seek medical help immediately and report that you have recently been vaccinated.
European Medicines Agency (EMA), the corona vaccine from the manufacturer Astra-Zeneca can cause severe allergic reactions. Anaphylaxis and hypersensitivity reactions should be included in the list of possible side effects of the vaccine citing , the EMA said on Friday, several such cases in the UK.
There have now been more than 60,000,000 confirmed coronavirus infections globally and the infection rate is still increasing.
Seven countries are now reporting mink-related Sars-CoV-2 mutations in humans, according to new scientific analysis.
The mutations are identified as Covid-19 mink variants as they have repeatedly been found in mink and now in humans as well.
Uncertainty around the implications of the discovery of a Covid-19 mink variant in humans led Denmark, the world’s largest mink fur producer, to launch a nationwide cull earlier this month.
The cull was sparked by research from Denmark’s public health body, the Statens Serum Institut (SSI), which showed that a mink variant called C5 was harder for antibodies to neutralise and posed a potential threat to vaccine efficacy.
Denmark, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, the Faroe Islands, Russia and the US have all reported cases of mink-related mutations.
In light of the contagion of a mutated variant of the coronavirus from mink to people in Denmark, the (Iceland) Food Administration intends to start screening for coronavirus on the country’s mink farms. It is not suspected that coronavirus infection has occurred in mink farms in Iceland.
When there were reports of coronavirus infection from people in mink this summer, the Food Administration sent a recommendation to Icelandic mink farmers about stricter infection control on the farms and that individuals with disease symptoms stay away from them. Suspicion of mink disease must be reported to the Food Administration. These recommendations have been regularly reminded, but no notifications have been received. If infection is detected on the farm, further measures will be examined in consultation with the health authorities.
Yesterday, the Danes announced cuts in all mink farms in Denmark due to coronavirus infections that spread from mink to humans. This is a mutated variant of the virus that is thought to have originated in humans from mink. Vaccines that are developing against the coronavirus are not likely to be mutagenic variants of the virus. There is a small chance of infection in the wild mink population, where contact with humans is minimal. In Iceland, there are 9 mink farms in the north-west and south of the country with a total of 15,000 farms.