Greenland’s COVID concern shifts to Nuuk

As previous hotspots appear to have come under control, the capital city has seen a 10-fold increase in the number of cases in the past week.

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People queue to get tested during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Nuuk, Greenland on September 8, 2021. (Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters)

Residents of Greenland’s capital city will be required to show proof they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have tested negative for the illness within the previous two days if they wish to visit restaurants or other non-essential indoor public places after a ten-fold rise in the number of cases during the past week.

Through Thursday, 79 residents of Nuuk (pop. 19,000) had tested positive for COVID-19 during the previous seven days. A week ago, there were total of seven cases in Nuuk.

The outbreak has been linked to a nursery school, but the illness has now spread to the general population, and the majority of those testing positive in the past three days have been adults with no direct connection to the school.

“You can be infected anywhere you go in the city. Everyone is urged to exercise caution and limit the spread of the illness,” Nunatsinni Nakorsaaneqarfik, the office of the chief medical officer, said in a message to Nuuk residents on Wednesday.

[COVID restrictions are extended until November in 3 Greenland towns]

Non-vaccinated Nuuk residents traveling to other parts of the country had already been under orders to self-quarantine upon arrival at their destination as part a previous outbreak that also had gripped Sisimiut, Aasiaat and Upernavik.

That requirement will remain in place for residents of Nuuk and Sisimiut — who will also need to show proof they are vaccinated or are not infected in order to visit non-essential public places — but a face-mask requirement in the three towns that was not due to end until October 31 has been lifted early as the outbreak has come under control.