Opinion

– We need to tell the whole truth about the COVID-19 situation in the Faroe Islands

Tummas Justinussen (Image credits: KVF)
Tummas Justinussen (Image credits: KVF)

It is important that Faroese authorities give the rest of the world an accurate description of the situation regarding COVID-19 in the Faroe Islands, says Tummas Justinussen, committee chairman in Skansi Offshore.

According to worldometers.info, the Faroe Islands is currently listed in 31st place under countries with the most cases per million population. Because of the recent spike in cases, Norway has marked the Faroe Islands as red territory.

According to Tummas Justinussen, it is important to get the whole truth out about the situation in the Faroe Islands, otherwise these numbers could be used against the country, he says.

– We have to use our numbers correctly, and we have to be good at explaining to the rest of the world, what the COVID-19 situation in our country is really like. If we don’t, the numbers with cases per million population can be used against us. Because we live in such a small country, we are all aware that small numbers can be statistically misleading, he says. As an example, if only one case was confirmed in Sandoy, it would be enough to get the island listed as red.

Tummas Justinussen points out the fact that the proportional numbers in the Faroe Islands are high, because of the country’s agressive test strategy, which Faroese authorities should be sure to mention to the rest of the world. But perhaps the story of the testing isn’t as interesting to the world media as the test results, he acknowledges.

– We have tested so much that countries with an equal amount of COVID-19 have placed us on the red list, and they demand that those who’ve visited us stay quarantined for 14 days after their return.

When comparing the Faroe Islands to Norway, which recently red-listed the Faroe Islands because of the proportional infection rate, Tummas Justinussen says he doubts Norway would look as good as it does, if the country tested as much as the Faroe Islands does.

– We’ve almost conducted 74.000 COVID-19 tests (Edit: as of 18 August), meaning 1,4 times the country’s population. If we use Norway as an example, as Norway has deemed it necessary to mark us as a red zone, because we test like we do. Norway has a population of 5,4 million people, but they have only conducted 556.000 tests.  If Norway tested like we did, they’d test 1,4 times 5,4 million people, meaning 7,6 million tests, if they did like us. I’d like to see, what the Norwegian numbers would look like, if they conducted seven million tests these next couple of days, Tummas Justinussen says.

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