UPDATED: Chinese woman taken ill at Copenhagen Airport tests negative for coronavirus

A woman who was on Friday morning taken ill at Copenhagen Airport and subsequently tested for coronavirus is not infected, the Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) has confirmed.

UPDATED: Chinese woman taken ill at Copenhagen Airport tests negative for coronavirus
Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

The woman, who is from China, arrived at Copenhagen Airport at 7:40am on Friday on a flight from China via Helsinki in Finland.

She contacted airport staff after experiencing influenza-like symptoms.

She was then taken to Hvidovre Hospital near Copenhagen, where she was hospitalized in isolation and tested for the infectious virus.

A small section of Copenhagen Airport’s Terminal 3 was temporarily closed for sanitization.

The Danish Health Authority was later able to confirm to national broadcaster DR that the woman does not have coronavirus.

“The passenger was observed with symptoms upon arrival at the airport, and then transported to Hvidovre Hospital, one of the two hospitals in Denmark which has expertise in management of patients who must be isolated due to risk of infection, the Danish Health Authority said in a statement.

The health authority has moved to reassure passengers at Copenhagen Airport.

“I can reassure the travellers who may have been at the airport this morning… that they need not be worried. Fortunately, new coronavirus can only infect you if you have been in direct contact with an infected person,” Danish Health Authority director Søren Brostrøm, said in the statement.

A second person remains admitted to Hvidovre Hospital on suspicion of coronavirus infection, according to media reports on Friday. The Danish Health Authority is awaiting an update on the status of that person.

The second individual has no relation and was not on the same plane as the woman from China, but no further details have been released.

READ ALSO: Denmark changes travel advice: These are the new coronavirus guidelines


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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.”