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World Iceland denies holding two French people responsible for an increase in contamination

22:40  26 september  2020
22:40  26 september  2020 Source:   lexpress.fr

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The police note that if "the sanitary measures were not followed to the maximum" by the two young people, "there was no violation of isolation rules ".

Test de dépistage du coronavirus le 7 septembre 2020 à Rennes (image d'illustration). © afp.com/Damien MEYER Coronavirus screening test on September 7, 2020 in Rennes (illustrative image).

They were singled out as responsible for the second wave that Iceland meets. But local authorities denied Friday, September 25, to hold two French tourists responsible for the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the country, contrary to what several media claim.

To hold these two French tourists responsible, who tested positive when they disembarked from their plane in Iceland in mid-August, is "unfair and unfounded," said Kari Stefánsson, CEO of DeCODE Genetics, who is lending a hand to health authorities Icelanders in the massive tests orchestrated on the island since mid-March.

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The Icelandic police note that if "the health measures were not followed to the maximum" by the two young people, "he there was no violation of the isolation rules "and" there is no reason to impose a fine "on the two French people. On August 15, when they arrived in Iceland, they had chosen to be tested for Covid-19 at Keflavik international airport to escape two weeks of quarantine, but then tested positive. So they were asked to self-isolate.

No evidence

As Iceland systematically sequenced every positive coronavirus case to determine its strain, it was found several weeks later that the same gene present in most new cases had been detected a month earlier on the two French, immediately suspected of having violated the rules of their quarantine. But this hypothesis "is not based on any proof", underlines Kari Stefansson.

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"It is also possible, even more likely, that there were other people on this plane who were infected and were early enough in the infection that they were not detected at the border. So blaming these two French tourists is unfair and unfounded, and I will not participate in it ", he continued.

Since September 15, Iceland has been facing a new upsurge in Covid-19 cases, the vast majority of which in the region of the capital Reykjavík. According to health authorities, nearly half of these infections are linked directly or indirectly to two bars in the city center, where the so-called "French" strain was detected.

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