National Health Office has not detected any new cases since 4/4. 11 patients fully recovered and no deaths were reported.
Ever since the first case of infection was detected on March 16, Greenland sealed Nuuk, the capital of the Kingdom of Denmark’s autonomous nation. 11 patients were discovered in the city of more than 18,000 people.
The government suspended all commercial routes, closing schools and bars for at least two weeks. Residents cannot enter or leave Greenland without a special permit until April 30, even if they ride a private boat or sleigh. All activities gathering more than 10 people are prohibited, people are recommended to stay at home, do not go from town to town, district to district. Earlier, the island did not allow any non-Danish tourist to enter from March 13, when a pandemic spread throughout Europe.
Even the Nuuk government has issued a ban on alcohol sales from March 28 to April 15. People are warned, parents who drink too much will endanger children at home. In addition, this policy aims to reduce the risk of infection in the community because people will be less aware of the epidemic when drunk.
As the number of people dying from nCoV in Europe keeps growing, Greenland is safe, but the key questions now are: How long can the island separate from the rest of the world? How long will people have to quarantine society? How long should the government keep the economy idle – and how quickly will the virus spread when the blockade and restriction is relaxed?
Domestic real output, any type of foreign
A dark history of deadly epidemics in the 18th and 19th centuries, has raised concerns that nCoV will quickly spread to many remote villages, if not controlled promptly. Once that scenario happens, small hospitals will not be able to provide special care to all patients, or timely rescue helicopters for a series of emergency cases. There is no need for too many serious illnesses to overload the island’s health system.
Therefore the blockade is perfectly suitable for this world’s largest island. It is almost impossible to get to or from Greenland, because there are no flights, ships or vehicles – unless specifically licensed. Several flights and helicopters still carried letters and medical doctors between the island’s 72 towns and villages – no rail or road links connecting these communities.
From Saattut, a fishing village of about 250 people in northwestern Greenland, Apollo Mathiassen, a fisherman, said by phone that the villagers had almost no physical contact with the rest of the world. Even people do not go to the nearest town of Uummannaq, only about 45 minutes away by sleigh or sled dog.
Ove Rosing Olsen, a former pharmacist, expects the blockade order will last much longer. In 1992, Mr. Olsen became Greenland’s first Health Minister when the Greenland government took over the health system from Denmark. He currently lives in the town of Sisimiut on the west coast of Greenland.
He worries that many Greenlanders may become infected with nCov and become seriously ill, since many families live in small apartments or houses. In 1801, the smallpox epidemic killed about 80% of the inhabitants of Sisimiut; Measles also claimed the lives of many people in late 1954.
“Most recently, we were dealing with the 2009 swine flu pandemic, almost all the Sisimiut people were affected. One child died. It was a serious epidemic, and now Covid- 19 , much worse. I think we will still partially blockade for at least six months and perhaps the whole year, “he said.
Gert Mulvad, a doctor at the Health Care Center of Queen Ingrid Hospital, Greenland’s largest medical facility, said: “Our strategy, as in other countries, is to ensure medical systems. The difference is that we have more options to blockade the country.The problem is that there is no vaccine or a good treatment regimen for critically ill patients, so we don’t know what will happen. occurs when reopening “.
Anders Koch, a medical epidemiologist in Copenhagen and a university professor in Greenland, expressed concern: “The health system is not equipped to face such a challenge, in numbers. staff, beds and ventilators are limited. If a patient needs ventilator treatment in Greenland, they must be moved to the capital Nuuk – and three quarters of the population lives outside Nuuk. “
If the number of patients in need of special care exceeds the capacity of Greenland, they can be moved over 3,500 km to hospitals in Denmark, because the Greenland people are still Danish citizens.
Open the door gradually
Greenland Prime Minister Kim Kielsen is confident that there are no more cross-infections in the community after 11 people with Covid-19 have fully recovered. The capital Nuuk, which has been cordoned off since March 18, began to relax restrictions. The Nuuk Center shopping center is about to reopen, students gradually return to the school, the alcohol sales facilities are allowed to operate again. A new Covid-19 test machine has been put into operation in the laboratory at Nuuk.
However, Prime Minister Kielsen said that the government and people of Greenland need to be vigilant until the vaccine for nCoV. The leader urged as many people to work from home as possible until May 1. “Stay at home, adhere to recommendations on epidemiological hygiene and social spacing. This is exactly how we can avoid infection,” he said.