Denmark registers highest number of new coronavirus cases for two months

91 new cases of coronavirus were registered by health authorities in Denmark on Thursday, the highest daily infections figure in the country since May 18th.

Denmark registers highest number of new coronavirus cases for two months
A significant proportion of new Covid-19 cases in Denmark are linked to the Danish Crown meat plant in Ringsted. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The latest daily total from national infectious disease institute SSI shows the increase, which follows 57 new cases registered on Wednesday and 30 on Tuesday.

Average daily new Covid-19 infections in Denmark have crept up throughout July. The week commencing July 5th saw an average of 18 new cases per day. That had increased to 41 by last week.

The latest daily total from national infectious disease institute SSI shows a decrease of one in the number of hospitalised patients.

Three fewer people are hospitalised with Covid-19 than yesterday. That figure now stands at 18. Of the hospitalised patients, three are in ICU care and all three are receiving ventilator treatment.

One new death from Covid-19 was also registered by SSI. The total number of deaths with the virus since the start of the epidemic in Denmark is 615.

Increasing daily infections in the country coincide with an outbreak at a Danish Crown meat processing plant in Ringsted, Zealand.

Danish Crown said on Tuesday that three members of staff at its processing facility had tested positive. The figure increased to 16 on Wednesday and was today reported to stand at 32 cases in total.

Although today's total is high compared to recent numbers, there is no immediate cause for alarm, according to Jens Lundgren, professor of infectious disease at Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet.

“The number is concerning of course, but it is not surprising with the outbreak in Ringsted, which there is currently a hotspot with many new cases of infection,” Lundgren told Ritzau.


“But there is no sign of a trend towards spread throughout the country. At the same time, there is a low number of hospital admissions, so I see no reason to be worried when looking at today's figures in isolation,” he said.

“But it is clear that this is a sign that things can develop quickly and it will be important to follow the development in August when many people will come home from summer holidays abroad,” the professor added.

Danish Crown expects to have tested and received results by the beginning of next week for all staff potentially affected by the cluster of infections at the Ringsted plant.

“The new cases of infection are persons who were in contact with people who were found infected earlier in the week, but it is of course serious,” the company’s head of press communications Jens Hansen told Ritzau.

A mobile Covid-19 testing centre has been set up at the site by health authorities.

The Ringsted plant has about 900 employees. They will be tested weekly for the next seven weeks in a measure designed to bring the outbreak under control.

More than 100 employees at the facility have been asked to stay home from work because they have been in close contact with one or more infected people.

READ ALSO: Face masks still not necessary in Denmark: health agency director

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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.”