No evidence of ‘UK Covid-19 strain’ so far

01.01.2021 - 09:44
No evidence of ‘UK Covid-19 strain’ so far
The highly contagious Covid variant recently identified in the UK has so far not been found in the Faroes
Debes Hammershaimb Christiansen is the head of the test laboratory at the Faroese Food, Veterinary and Environmental Agency (HFS)

Faroese scientists have for the past week been analysing 22 positive Covid test samples taken in December.

The objective was to determine whether these samples contained the new, so-called ‘UK variant’, which is believed to be significantly more contagious than previous strains.

“We have sequenced 14 of the samples so far, and we found no trace of the UK variant,” says Debes Hammershaimb Christiansen, who heads the test laboratory at the Faroese Food, Veterinary and Environmental Agency (HFS).

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“The remaining eight samples contain too little of the virus for us to detect anything significant. We are now adjusting our methods, which might give us a clearer indication.”

Christiansen adds that although it is not possible to rule it out, it is unlikely they will find the UK variant in the remaining samples, partly because contact tracing has revealed that none of these eight people had travelled directly to the Faroes from the UK.

“If we were to identify this new strain in our country, we shouldn’t worry too much about it. We have a highly effective testing, contact tracing and quarantine system and, crucially, the new vaccine has proved effective against this new strain.”

For further information about Covid-19 in the Faroes, visit


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