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Iceland has tested one-tenth of its population for coronavirus at random and found HALF of people have the disease without realising - with only seven deaths in 1,600 cases

  • Iceland has tested 36,413 for coronavirus, 10 per cent of their population 
  • 50 per cent of people carry the virus with no symptoms, they have discovered  
  • The UK's testing record currently stands at just 0.48 per cent or 316,836 people
  • A combination of factors are thought to be giving the Nordic country the upper hand in battling Covid-19, including their 'remoteness and respect for science'
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

Iceland has tested one-tenth of its population for coronavirus at random and found that half of people have the disease without realising.

They also discovered that 1,600 people have been infected with Covid-19 since the start of the outbreak. Of these cases, there were only seven deaths, indicating a fatality rate of just 0.004 per cent, which is significantly lower than other countries, including the UK.  

The findings were made during Iceland's rigorous testing campaign, conducted with the help of Reykjavik-based biopharmaceutical company deCODE genetics, which has seen 10 per cent of the 364,413 population swabbed, something yet to be achieved by any other nation.   
An estimated 50 per cent of those infected with the virus, the company found, do not show any symptoms. 

As of yesterday, the UK had tested 316,836 people of its 66.4 million population, with 73,758 confirmed infections. This translates to 0.48 per cent of the population swabbed. 
Of those infected, 8,958 have died, a case fatality rate of around 0.12 per cent, notably higher than Iceland's.   
The testing process has given the Nordic island a unique insight into the behaviour of the virus and is allowing them to resist a large-scale lockdown like those seen across the continent.

 By taking this route, Reykjavik has become the country with the highest proportion of coronavirus cases in the world simply due to their extensive screenings.
Meanwhile, other nations remain in the dark as to their true rates of infection.
Their approach to 'flattening the curve' has also revealed that cases are stable or on the wane, the company said.
Unlike many countries in Europe such as Spain, Italy and Britain, who are facing strict isolation to prevent the spread of the disease, Iceland has not shuttered businesses and shops.  
They have banned large gatherings of more than 20 people but, according to reports, their social-distancing recommendations are largely being followed.
Rates of infection in Iceland mirror those further East, such as Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, which somehow managed to keep cases low despite their geographical proximity to mainland China and high numbers of tourist arrivals.
In Hong Kong, the immediate response from the public in December, tearing through shops to stock up on face masks and hand sanitizer, appears to have helped keep their case numbers low, according to experts.
A combination of factors are thought to be giving Iceland the upper hand in battling Covid-19, including their remoteness, the public's respect for scientific expertise, and its emergency response capabilities.
Tourists with masks walk down Bankastraeti street in downtown Reykjavik, on 3 April. The case fatality rate in Iceland is just 0.004 per cent compared to the UK's 0.12 per cent 

'The smaller the population you have the more chance there is you will know someone who is affected,' Gestur Palmason, a police detective working as a coronavirus 'contact tracer' at Iceland's National Crisis Coordination told USAToday.
'Whatever your government or law enforcement may be saying, you are much more likely to want to play a part and take recommendations seriously because of that personal connection – compared to places where there are tens of millions of people and you may not have been to parts of the country or know people there.'
Despite appearing to have all the answers, experts have argued of limitations to the country's research. 

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