Denmark introduces new coronavirus measures as more cases confirmed

Four new cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Denmark on Monday evening, bringing the country’s total to 10.

Denmark introduces new coronavirus measures as more cases confirmed
Photo: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix

In a measure aimed at protecting the country’s sick and elderly from exposure to the virus, all healthcare workers in the country who have travelled to outbreak areas within in the last 14 days will now be required to remain at home, the Ministry of Health has announced.

The move is aimed at healthcare sector workers who have direct contact with the public, such as doctors, nurses and social care workers, the ministry said.

“The task now is to give the best possible chance for authorities to do all they can to prevent coronavirus from spreading,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told DR on Monday evening.

Areas encompassed by the measure are the Italian regions of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto; mainland China; the province of Gyeongbuk and the city of Daegu in South Korea; and all of Iran.

“We are taking (these) new steps to stay ahead of developments. We need to protect the groups in our community which are particularly at risk and vulnerable if they become infected with coronavirus,” Minister for Health Magnus Heunicke said at a press briefing on Monday.

“A few hundred” members of Denmark’s healthcare sector workforce are expected to be affected by the rule.

“We are asking them to stay at home so they do not come into contact with the weak or the elderly. So this is not home quarantine as such,” Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen, DHA) director Søren Brostrøm said at a press briefing.

The staff will be paid while staying home from work under the measure, Frederiksen confirmed to TV2.


Danish Nurses' Organization (Dansk Sygeplejeråd) chairperson Grete Christensen gave her backing to the move.

“It’s important that those of us who care for others don’t risk possibly spreading infection to weak and sick people,” Christensen said.

Ten cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Denmark at the time of writing, with no fatalities.

Of the four new cases confirmed Monday evening, three recently returned from travel to Italy and one from Iran. None have been in contact with any of the six prior cases.

None of the four new cases are hospitalized. No further information on them has been released.

Danish Patient Safety Authority director Anne-Marie Vangsted said that all four new cases had been prompt to contact health services after they noticed symptoms.

“These are all people who contacted a doctor as soon as they felt symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath and coughing,” Vangsted said.

Danish health authorities are recommending people to initially call their doctors if they are concerned they might have symptoms and have recently travelled to affected areas.

If you think you have the virus, do not go to hospital or your doctor's surgery.

Health authorities are worried about potentially infected people turning up at hospitals and passing on the virus.

Therefore, you should always start by contacting your doctor by telephone. Remember to state that you have been in the area of infection, if this is the case.

The coronavirus situation in Denmark remains less serious than in other countries, but you can keep up to date with the latest news via this article, which also includes official guidelines on the everyday precautions you can take and what to do if you have travelled to outbreak areas or are concerned about symptoms. The article will be updated on an ongoing basis.

We are keeping the article paywall-free, which means it will remain open to new or occasional readers. An explanation of this decision can be found at the bottom of the article.


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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.”