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Denmark registers lowest number of new Covid-19 cases in August

71 new infections with Covid-19 were registered in Denmark on Friday, the country’s infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI) has confirmed.

Denmark registers lowest number of new Covid-19 cases in August
Health minister Magnus Heunicke speaks at Friday's press briefing. Photo: Martin Sylvest/Ritzau Scanpix

On its website, SSI noted that “the figures from August 20th were updated a little later than normal and can therefore be expected to be slightly higher than otherwise expected… while the figures for August 21st may be a little lower than otherwise expected”.

116 new cases were reported by the agency on Thursday August 20th, following on from 85 cases the preceding day – at the time, the lowest daily total since August 9th.

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Despite the qualification attached to Friday’s figure, it remains the lowest daily total for new cases of Covid-19 in Denmark since the beginning of August.

Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke confirmed the latest total earlier of Friday.

“The increase we have seen both nationally and locally in recent weeks appears to be easing,” Heunicke said at Friday’s briefing.

The minister also said that the reproduction number for Covid-19 in Denmark currently stands at 1. This means that every infected person infects an average of 1.0 more people. The number reached 1.5 people earlier in the month.

Heunicke added that the epidemic in Denmark is “neither on the way up nor on the way down”.

Although the situation is currently stable, authorities are continuing to monitor trends in municipalities where numbers are relatively high.

These include Rødovre, Ishøj, Randers and Glostrup. Each of the four has over 20 infections per 100,000 residents over the last week.

Aarhus and Silkeborg, which have previously seen increased infections, are currently showing encouraging trends, Heunicke said on Friday.

Although Aarhus still has a high infection rate at 51.3 per 100,000 inhabitants and remains the current worst-affected area of Denmark, the figure is beginning to decrease.

Other areas including Sorø, Nyborg and Solrød as well as Ringsted – the location of an outbreak at a Danish Crown abattoir – now have local outbreaks under control.

Each of the four areas now have infection rates under 10 per 100,000 residents, according to SSI figures.

READ ALSO: Denmark's face mask requirement comes into force: these are the rules you need to know

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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.” 

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