The Faroe Islands have been hit by big outbreak of coronavirus cases following months with no local transmission. 

By yesterday (Thursday August 7) at least 38 new cases had been discovered, according to chief medical officer, Lars Fodgaard Møller, and the number could be even higher as there are still hundreds of tests from Wednesday that haven’t been analysed yet, reports the local English website www.local.fo

This week, a lot of people have been tested for COVID-19, after 16 new cases were confirmed in two days. This has led to traffic jams outside the Faroese hospitals, as people waited in their cars for hours to get tested. More than 43.000 tests have now been conducted in the Faroe Islands, and almost 1.600 tests were conducted on Wednesday.

Overall 192 of the people who’ve tested positive in the Faroe Islands have recovered, and one person is still hospitalized. At the end of yesterday at least 400 people would be in quarantine, the Ministry of Health said in a press release.

Yesterday's total of positive cases is a new record already. On 25 June, a total of 23 cases were registered in one day, all of them Russian sailors aboard the vessel Karelia. Before that, the record was 19 cases, which were registered on 16 March.

On Tuesday 4 August, when it was stated that the virus was once again spreading in the Faroe Islands, it was thought that there were three different chains of infection. It is now deemed more likely that there is only one chain, which originated in Tórshavn on ólavsøka – the islands' National Day – and the weekend after that. Some of the infected people live outside the capital area, but they contracted the virus in Tórshavn. It has also been established that the virus has spread at private gatherings on ólavsøka and the weekend after.

According to the chief medical officer, people have transferred the virus the day after contracting it themselves, something which has never before been seen in the Faroe Islands. This makes it all the more difficult to isolate, the Ministry of Health says, and advises people in the Faroe Islands to live as if they are already infected.