‘Difficult’ situation as Greenland sees back-to-back record COVID increases

An outbreak in Nuuk has seen two days of record-high news positives earlier this week.

By Kevin McGwin - November 12, 2021
A person looks on outside a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test center in the center of Nuuk, Greenland on March 31, 2021. (Emil Helms / Ritzau Scanpix file photo / via Reuters)

A rash of COVID-19 cases that began at a school in Nuuk last week is being blamed for causing Greenland’s two largest single-day increases new positives and prolonging the current month-long outbreak in the capital city. 

As of Thursday, there were 120 cases of COVID-19 in Nuuk. Nationwide, there were 130 confirmed cases.

Nineteen new cases were reported on Thursday. That’s well off the 40 new cases that were reported on Tuesday and the 41 new cases the following day, but the rapid increases in the past, combined with the nature of the current outbreak, likely mean the number of people with COVID-19 is far higher, health authorities say.

[A Nuuk super-spreader event underscores the need for COVID-19 booster shots, say Greenland health authorities]

Currently, the majority of those testing positive for COVID-19 in Nuuk are unvaccinated children. 

Henrik L. Hansen, Greenland’s chief medical officer, predicted that the number of cases in the city would continue to rise as the adult family members of infected children began testing positive in the coming days.

While the latest outbreak has not led to hospitalizations, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer on Tuesday described the situation as “difficult” and said that an overburdened contact tracing system had led to delays in informing people that they were close contacts of someone who had tested positive.