Coronavirus deaths in Denmark rise by 18 but hospital admissions fall

There have been 18 new deaths from the coronavirus in Denmark since Saturday, bringing the national total to 179, according to Statens Serum Institute.

Coronavirus deaths in Denmark rise by 18 but hospital admissions fall
A doctor adjusts his visor before performing a mouth swab on a patient to test for the Coronavirus in a new tent extension of Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen, on April 2, 2020: AFP

There are now 4369 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Denmark –  292 more than Saturday. This figure may be much higher because not everyone with symptoms is tested.

While the number of deaths and confirmed cases have increased, the number of hospital admissions dropped for the fourth day.

As of Sunday, 504 patients were in hospital with the coronavirus in Denmark, three fewer than on Saturday. Of those, 144 were in intensive care, which is two more than Saturday and 107 of those needed a respirator, which is five fewer than Saturday.

The capital region has the most hospital admissions with 230 patients infected with the coronavirus while Northern Jutland has the fewest with 33 admissions.

1327 people have been declared healthy after being infected with the coronavirus.

Earlier in the week, the Danish Health Authority changed its coronavirus strategy to allow doctors to order tests for those with mild symptoms, if they live with vulnerable people or are for some reason unable or unlikely to self-isolate.

Currently, the country is testing only those with moderate to severe symptoms, those in risk groups such as the elderly and chronically ill, and health personnel.

Helene Bilsted Probst, who runs the authority's planning department, told Danish public broadcaster DR on Thursday that she believed the new guidelines could more than triple the number of tests carried out. 

On Thursday and Friday, the Danish Regions achieved its ambition to conduct at least 5000 coronavirus tests per day. The number is expected to increase to 10,000 next week and after Easter the aim is to test 15,000 patients per day.

Last Monday, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced that Denmark will be able to begin “a gradual, quiet and controlled opening” after Easter, if numbers remain stable and people adhere to distancing advice.

According to Berlingske and TV2 News, the Prime Minister will talk tomorrow morning at a press conference about how the country can begin to reduce restrictions and take the first steps towards a reopening.


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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.”