VIDEO: Thousands of Danes to join coronavirus musical clap-along

More than 10,000 Danes have signed up for a coordinated three-minute explosion of clapping and musical noise at 7pm on Monday, following in the steps of the balcony sing-a-longs seen in Italy and Spain.

VIDEO: Thousands of Danes to join coronavirus musical clap-along
The clap-along in Vesterbro on Sunday night quickly rippled through along Gråstensgade (pictured). Photo: Google Maps
The actor Rasmus Hammerich expanded the 7pm clap-along, which he launched on a small scale near his home in Copenhagen's Vesterbro district, into a national event on Monday morning, after more than 16,000 people expressed interest in less than 24 hours. 
“My Facebook account is lit,” he laughed, when The Local contacted him. “I think it's a good idea for everybody to recognise that we're still here, that we're in this together, and that we're doing this for a reason.” 
The group's Facebook page asks people to “clap and make some noise for Denmark”: “Let us applaud those holding the system together! Let us applause those sitting alone, so they don't feel so alone! Let's give cheer because we are together in all this!” 
Hammerich said he had decided not to follow the Italian and Spanish example and ask people to sing a particular song “because the singing tradition in Denmark isn't so great and I thought people would be too shy to do it”.  He said he also felt songs were “too personal”  
“Some people don't like the national anthem, some people do, so I say 'if you want to sing, then sing',  but I won't recommend any song.” 
Hammerich said that in Vesterbro on Sunday night, the applause and noise he and his friends made cheering and bashing pots had had quickly rippled through the streets. 
“Because it was so quiet, people opened their own windows and started doing it. At the end of the three minutes, people in my street in Copenhagen started shouting 'good night' to everybody and it was really beautiful.” 
He is calling on those who join the event on Monday evening end by shouting in unison “Good night, see you in the morning!”. 
Here's a video of the clapping, cheering and pot banging in Vesterbro on Sunday night (courtesy of Maria Bartholomaeussen). 

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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.”