Denmark soon to enter new ‘mitigation’ phase of coronavirus battle

Denmark soon to enter new 'mitigation' phase of coronavirus battle
Bolette Søborg, Senior Consultant at the Danish Health Authority, said the shift was imminent. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Scanpix
Denmark is preparing to shift its coronavirus strategy from containment to mitigation, the Danish Health Authority announced at a press conference on Wednesday.
This will mean a shift in focus from attempting to stop the infection coming to Denmark to one of slowing its spread internally, the Danish Health Authority announced at a press conference on Wednesday. 
 
“It could be soon,” Bolette Søborg, Senior Consultant at the Danish Health Authority, said as the shift was announced at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon at Christiansborg, the seat of the Danish parliament. 
 
“We are not yet aware of all the people who are infected. There will be a dark number. But we have good control over it.”
 
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The press conference brought together senior officials from the Danish Health Authority, the Danish Patient Safety Authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Danish Business Authority, and the Danish Transport, Building and Housing Authority, and came after the announcement of a dramatic increase in the number of confirmed infections.
 
The leaders of six different national authorities briefed the press on the coronavirus situation on Wednesday. Photo: Ida Marie Odgaard/Ritzau Scanpix
 
 
The Danish Patient Safety Authority (Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed) announced at 10.00am on Wednesday that there were now 340 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, an increase of 30 percent on the 262 confirmed at 17.00pm on Tuesday.
 
Kåre Mølbak from the Statens Serum Institut, Denmark's national medical laboratory, said that the high apparent number of infections probably reflected the efficiency with which the country was uncovering cases. 
 
“Compared to other countries it might look severe. If you look at Sweden, Austria and now, we have had a more intense development,” he said. 
 
But he said that around 4,000 people in the country had already been tested, a higher number per capita than in most other countries.  
 
“We have an extremely good control of the situation. Over the next few days, we will announce a change in approach over who is to be tested,” he said, explaining that health authorities would soon stop concentrating testing on those who had travelled overseas. 
 
Carsten Falk Hansen from the Danish Transport, Building and Housing Authority said that Danes appeared to have been avoiding public transport voluntarily, helping to reduce the rate of transmission. 
 
Søborg recommended that as the elderly are at the highest risk of dying from the virus, they should not be asked to look after grandchildren who are off school sick.  
 
“It is certainly true that if you need to look after children who might have symptoms, then you should not ask grandparents or the elderly to look after them,” she said.

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