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Two more Omicron cases confirmed

02.12.2021 - 15:24
Þórólfur Guðnason og Kári Stefánsson
 Mynd: RÚV - Samsett mynd
Three cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant have now been confirmed in Iceland: one yesterday and two this afternoon following sequencing of samples taken yesterday. This is confirmed by Kári Stefánsson, director of deCODE genetics. The three are considered to be linked cases.

A man in his 70s was the first to be confirmed to have the Omicron variant in Iceland yesterday. He is now in hospital in Reykjavík due to his illness, but was moved there after receiving treatment at a hospital outside the capital region. He is fully vaccinated, and has had his booster shot. The origin of his infection is unknown. He had not travelled overseas recently.

Kári says the procedure for sequencing the virus has been changed recently. Since the beginning of the pandemic, deCODE has sequenced all positive test samples, but while the Delta variant has been dominant, the company has collected samples together and sequenced them all every few days. “Now we are sequencing every day, to follow how this variant spreads in Icelandic society,” Kári explains. 

Omicron has more mutations than other variants of the virus. Chief epidemiologist Þórólfur Guðnason told RÚV today that the patient who tested positive yesterday is being monitored closely. He says there is much to suggest that Omicron is more contagious than other variants, but that there is no evidence at this stage that its symptoms are more dangerous than other variants previously seen.

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