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Foreign trawler docked at Runavík has two Covid-infected sailors admitted to hospital

Foreign vessels docked at Runavík (file photo). Image credits: Bui Tyril.

On June 20th Faroese health authorities reported 32 new Covid cases, two of whom were hospitalized, after routine testing of crew members aboard a Russian trawler docked at Runavík.

One of the infected crew members was admitted to the National Hospital of the Faroe Islands on the same day, while a second crew member was admitted the following day, Chief Medical Officer Lars Fodgaard Møller told public broadcaster KvF.

Mr. Møller noted, however, that he found it unlikely that crew members would have passed on the virus to locals. “Whats more concerning is the potential pressure this situation could put on the Faroese healthcare system,” he added.

As of the time of writing, most other infected crew members had shown only mild symptoms, with no further reports of additional cases on the trawler, named Karelia.

The Karelia also made headlines last summer, with 23 of its 70-strong crew testing positive for Covid while the ship was docked in Klaksvík. During the summer of 2020, several crew members of two other foreign vessels, one Russian, the other Lithuanian registered, tested positive, raising the total number of registered Covid-19 cases in the Faroe Islands. 

In September 2020 it was announced that there will be separate statistics to distinguish between local residents and sailors on foreign vessels, hence the latest incident on the Karelia will not affect official statistics on the number of Covid-19 cases in the Faroe Islands. The current number of active Covid cases in the Faroe Islands thus amounts to 13.

Meanwhile, on June 21st, the Faroe Islands’ first, and so far only, case of the Delta variant of Covid — the variant discovered in India last year — was registered when a traveler tested positive four days after arriving in Faroe.

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