First deCode COVID-19 Findings Are In

Kári Stefánsson, CEO of deCode Genetics.

Kári Stefánsson, CEO of deCode Genetics. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Vala Hafstað

Screening for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 – a project initiated by deCode Genetics – is in full swing. The project began on Friday, and over the weekend, about 1,000 people were screened a day. Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and First Lady Eliza Reid were among the first people to sign up for screening. They were found not to be infected with the virus.

First Lady Eliza Reid, being screened for the coronavirus Friday.

First Lady Eliza Reid, being screened for the coronavirus Friday. Eggert Jóhannesson

So far, about one percent of the people screened have been found to be carrying the virus. The project aims at gaining a better understanding of how the virus behaves in society.

A sequence analysis has been done on samples from two individuals who tested positive for the virus, mbl.is reports. One of them turned out to be carrying the S-type of the virus, from the West Coast of the US, and the other one the L-type, from Europe. The L-type is considered the more aggressive of the two.

President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and First Lady Eliza Reid, arriving …

President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and First Lady Eliza Reid, arriving for screening on Friday. mbl.is/Eggert Jóhannesson

Kári tells mbl.is that since the spread of the disease is still this limited, he assumes deCode will continue with the screening. The chief epidemiologist will plan his approach toward battling the disease based on the results of the screening.

“The goal is to reduce the spread [of the virus],” Kári states.

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