Two new coronavirus infections confirmed in Denmark

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Denmark is now at six.

Two new coronavirus infections confirmed in Denmark
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Two new cases of coronavirus infection have been confirmed by the Danish Patient Safety Authority (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed) on the agency’s website.

Both new cases are Danish nationals who returned to the country on February 29th from holiday in northern Italy.

They are not connected to each other, however, and were infected and travelled home separately.

On Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its official travel guidelines to advise against all non-essential travel to Italian regions Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto.

Also on Monday, 127 people were put in quarantine at their homes in response to the country's four prior confirmed cases of coronavirus infection.

Of the four previous Danish coronavirus cases, two of these had recently returned from trips to northern Italy. One had travelled to a conference in Munich, Germany and the final individual has been connected to one of the northern Italy infections. All four people are not considered to be seriously ill.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus in Denmark: What's the latest news and how concerned should you be?

No information has been released as to the gender, age or place of residence in Denmark of the two latest cases.

The Patient Safety Authority is now working to trace people who may have been in close contact with the two.

People who have been in contact with infected persons are normally placed in home quarantine for up to 14 days. Quarantine is used if, after thorough assessment of the individual, it is considered that there is a high risk that they may have been exposed to infection.

The Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen, DHA) has estimated that as many as 500,000 people in the country (less than 10 percent of the population) could catch the virus in a worst-case scenario, but that the majority would not become sick enough to need care from the health services.

According to John Hopkins University, a total of 90,000 infections have now been registered globally, the vast majority in China.

The total number of people who have been confirmed to have recovered is up to 48,000.

The World Health Organisation has said that more than 80 percent of patients infected with the virus have mild symptoms and recover, while 14 percent develop severe diseases such as pneumonia. 

Around five percent of cases are considered critical, while only 2 percent prove fatal. The elderly and people with conditions that weaken their immune system are most likely to develop severe symptoms.

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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.”