What you need to know after rise in Denmark coronavirus cases

What you need to know after rise in Denmark coronavirus cases
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix
Denmark’s government and authorities briefed the media on Monday after the country saw its largest number of new coronaviruses in one day.

Editor's note: this article has now been superseded by more recent updates.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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