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Iceland continues with large scale coronavirus test

On March 13, Iceland health officials and deCode Genetics began “comprehensive screening for the virus that causes COVID-19 among the Icelandic population.” As reported Thursday by Iceland’s government, Iceland has tested the largest proportion of citizens for coronavirus than any other country. 

Iceland has tested 7,833 individuals, with a total of 330 cases identified since it first began testing on February 28. Of the 4,590 samples taken among non-symptomatic individuals since March 13, 33 cases have been identified. The country has had only 3 hospitalizations and no deaths.

These new screenings with deCode Genetics have helped the government better understand the virus, by extension, giving the government a better idea as to how to protect its citizens and contain the virus. According to the government, deCode has been “working 24/7 to screen for and sequence the virus. The screening tells us where the virus is and the sequencing and how it differs between the places where it is and how it continues to mutate.

“This leads to a higher confidence in our efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 disease in the country. The combined efforts also provide a very valuable insight into the spread of the virus. In the coming days, more results from testing in the general population will continue to elicit a much clearer picture of the actual spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Iceland.”

Like many other countries, Iceland has practiced social distancing and self-quarantine, in addition to their testing and contact tracing of infections. 

Iceland’s testing model could be paramount in flattening the curve.

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