What you need to know after rise in Denmark coronavirus cases

Denmark’s government and authorities briefed the media on Monday after the country saw its largest number of new coronaviruses in one day.

What you need to know after rise in Denmark coronavirus cases
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Editor's note: this article has now been superseded by more recent updates. Please click here for our paywall-free news and information article, updated daily; and here for recommendations for public transport users, also paywall free.


The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Denmark has increased significantly during Monday, with a total of 90 people having now tested positive for new coronavirus. The total on Sunday was 35. As such, the increase is the largest Denmark has so far seen in a 24-hour period.

In addition to the confirmed cases, 770 people in the country have now been placed in home quarantine and 1,022 people have been tested for the virus in Denmark, according to figures published by the Danish Patient Safety Authority (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed, DPSA).

The Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen), Danish Patient Safety Authority, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Police (Rigspolitiet) and Danish Business Authority (Erhvervsstyrelsen) subsequently spoke to media.

Danish Health Authority (Sundhedsstyrelsen) director Søren Brostrøm said at Monday’s press conference that he expected to soon see infection of people who have not recently travelled abroad. Up to Sunday, health authorities in the country have been able to trace all infections within Denmark to travel, primarily to northern Italy, the area of Europe most severely-affected by coronavirus outbreak.

Brostrøm said that the authority now considers Denmark to be at a “high” risk level for outbreak of the virus, DR reports. That constitutes a step up from the previous assessment of “moderate” risk.

However, the situation of around 60 (at the time of the press conference) confirmed infections is not unexpected, Brostrøm also said.

“We said as early as last week that this was a possibility. That we are standing here now comes as no surprise to me,” he said.

Brostrøm reiterated Friday’s calls by the government for organizers to postpone or cancel major events with 1,000 participants or more.

The Danish Health Authority has already encouraged people in Denmark not to shake hands, kiss or hug each other as a measure to reduce coronavirus spread.

Brostrøm said on Monday that the agency’s strategy remains to delay the spread of the virus until the country reaches season when it does not spread so rapidly.

Although a situation may occur whereby the number of infection becomes so large that this strategy must be changed, the health authority director stressed that this point has not yet been reached.

Of the 59 people confirmed to have the virus in Denmark, 6 are currently hospitalized according to DPSA director Anne-Marie Vangsted. But none of those 6 people are in intensive care, she said.

“In general, they are fine. We currently have six people hospitalized out of the 59. I don't know anyone who is so seriously ill that they need intensive treatment,” Vangsted said according to Ritzau.

The country’s foreign ministry is now asking all foreign nationals who are arriving in the country from “risk” areas for infections to isolate themselves, for example in their hotel rooms, for 14 days after their arrival in the country.

However, Denmark is not considering denying entry to foreign citizens from risk zones.

Denmark's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is now advising against all travel to six regions in Northern Italy: Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Valle d'Aosta, Veneto and Marche.

Updated travel advice for all countries can be found on the foreign ministry’s website.

Earlier on Monday, DPSA asked for people who were at a nightclub in Copenhagen last week to add themselves to the growing number of people in home isolation.

The request applies to people who were at Søpavillonen between 11pm and 2am on Thursday March 5th-Friday March 6th.

A person who was at the location at that time has since tested positive for coronavirus and is now in isolation, Ritzau reports.

Anyone who may have been at the nightclub at the same time and has symptoms such as coughing, fever or lack of breath should under no circumstances go to their doctor or hospital in person, but instead telephone health authorities immediately for advice.

“You should not visit hospitals or care centres as there are people there who will be particularly at risk if they become infected with coronavirus,” the health authority said.

You can read more about symptoms and who to contact in our paywall-free information article.

Confirmed cases have also been reported at Rysensteen Gymnasium, an upper secondary school, as well as at university Copenhagen Business School (CBS). The former has been temporarily closed and three CBS students have been placed in home quarantine, Ritzau writes.

The Danish Patient Safety Authority is offering a number of helplines for people affected by the coronavirus.

People in home quarantine can contact the authority with questions of a practical nature between 9am and 10pm. The relevant telephone numbers are 72 22 74 28 (Copenhagen and Zealand regions); 70 20 21 77 (Central and North Jutland regions); and 29 31 98 63 (South Denmark region).

A hotline for both healthcare workers and the general public who have questions about coronavirus has also been set up. The number for this is 70 20 02 33.

How can I protect myself from the coronavirus in Denmark?

You should take the same precautions in Denmark that you would anywhere else:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and water, especially after coughing and sneezing or before eating.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms of respiratory illness.
  • Wear a mask if you suspect you are ill, or if you are assisting someone else who is ill.
  • Clean off surfaces with alcohol- or chlorine-based disinfectants.

Do not take any antibiotics or antiviral medication unless it's been prescribed to you by a doctor.

You can find the latest information about the coronavirus in from the Danish Patient Safety Authority and Danish Health Authority, your country's embassy, or the WHO.

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 and who to contact if you have travelled to outbreak areas or are concerned about symptoms. The article will be updated on an ongoing basis.



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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.”