Coronavirus: Evacuated Dane to be quarantined at Aarhus hospital

A Danish national who was in quarantine in Belgium after leaving China is to be transported to the University Hospital at Skejby in Aarhus.

Coronavirus: Evacuated Dane to be quarantined at Aarhus hospital
The aircraft which transported the Danish nationals after landing at Brussels. Photo: Vincent Bordignon/Ritzau Scanpix

The woman, who was hospitalized in Belgium after being evacuated from China, is on her way back to Denmark, media including Politiken report.

Although she is to be quarantined on returning to Denmark, she has been cleared of infection with new coronavirus, the Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) previously confirmed to the newspaper.

Initial plans to admit the woman to Hvidovre Hospital near Copenhagen were changed because she travelled by road rather than air, according to the report.

The health board said there were no preferences from a medical perspective regarding the chosen form of travel.

Bolette Søborg of the Danish Health Authority told Politiken that the woman would be taken “from hospital to hospital” and be “assessed according to coronavirus guidelines”, hence her ongoing isolation after testing negative for the virus.

Aarhus University Hospital is yet to comment on her condition, but health minister Magnus Heunicke has previously said that she has tested negative for coronavirus.

The woman is one of 14 Danish nationals to have been evacuated from Hubei province in China following the outbreak of the virus. She appeared to show symptoms of infection during the repatriation journey and was therefore hospitalized when the flight made its first landing in Belgium. The other passengers continued to Denmark.

She was subsequently confirmed by the Danish Ministry of Health to have tested negative for coronavirus.

But Politiken writes that her ongoing hospitalization is to exclude the possibility that she may have caught the virus from another potentially-infected person during the journey from China to Belgium.

A test result can be negative if a patient is early in the incubation phase. As such, the woman must now be kept in isolation in Aarhus as a precautionary measure, the newspaper writes.

She will therefore likely be re-examined and tested at the Danish hospital.


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IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?

The number of new Covid-19 infections fell on Saturday for the second day in a row, following a three-day plateau at the start of last week. Has the omicron wave peaked?

IN NUMBERS: Has the Omicron Covid-19 wave peaked in Denmark?
Graffiti in the Copenhagen hippy enclave of Christiania complaining of Omicron's impact on Christmas. Photo: Philip Davali/Scanpix

How many cases, hospitalisations and deaths are there in Denmark? 

Denmark registered 12,588 new cases in the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, down from the 18,261 registered on in the day leading up to Friday at 2pm, which was itself a decline from the record 28,283 cases recorded on Wednesday. 

The cases were identified by a total of 174,517 PCR tests, bringing the positive percentage to 7.21 percent, down from the sky high rates of close to 12 percent seen in the first few days of January. 

The number of cases over the past seven days is lower than the week before in almost every municipality in Denmark, with only Vallensbæk, Aarhus, Holseterbro, Skanderborg, Hjørring, Vordingborg,  Ringkøbing, Kolding, Assens, Horsens, Thisted, and Langeland reporting rises. 

Hospitalisations have also started to fall, with some 730 patients being treated for Covid-10 on Saturday, down from 755 on Friday. On Tuesday, 794 were being treated for Covid-19 in Danish hospitals, the highest number since the peak of the 2020-21 winter wave.

The only marker which has not yet started to fall is the number of deaths, which tends to trail infections and hospitalisations. 

In the 24 hours leading up to 2pm on Saturday, Denmark registered 28 deaths with Covid-19, the highest daily number recorded since 20 January 2021, when 29 people died with Covid-19 (although Denmark’s deadliest day was the 19 January 2021, when 39 people died). 

How does Denmark compare to other countries in Europe? 

Over the last seven days, Denmark has had the highest Covid-19 case rate of any country in Europe bar Ireland. The number of new infections in the country has climbed steadily since the start of December, apart from a brief fall over Christmas. 

So does this mean the omicron wave has peaked? 

Maybe, although experts are not sure. 

“Of course, you can hope for that, but I’m not sure that is the case,” said Christian Wejse, head of the Department for Infectious Diseases at Aarhus University Hospital. “I think it is too early to conclude that the epidemic has peaked.”

He said that patients with the Omicron variant were being discharged more rapidly on average than had been the case with those who had the more dangerous Delta variant. 

“Many admissions are relatively short-lived, thankfully. This is because many do not become that il, and are largely hospitalized because they are suffering with something else. And if they are stable and do not need oxygen, then they are quickly discharged again.” 

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during a visit to an event held by the Social Liberal party that the latest numbers made her even more optimistic about the coming month. 

“We have lower infection numbers and the number of hospitalisations is also plateauing,” she said. “I think we’re going to get through this winter pretty well, even if it will be a difficult time for a lot of people, and we are beginning to see the spring ahead of us, so I’m actually very optimistic.” 

She said that she had been encouraged by the fact that Omicron was a “visibly less dangerous variant if it is not allowed to explode.”