Denmark registers highest daily Covid-19 cases since April

A total of 179 new cases of coronavirus were registered in the latest daily update on Thursday, the highest daily number in over four months.

Denmark registers highest daily Covid-19 cases since April
Photo: Tim Kildeborg Jensen/Ritzau Scanpix

The numbers from the State Serum Institute appear a reversal of the improvement in Denmark’s infections figures in late August.

The number of hospitalised people with Covid-19 in Denmark now stands at 17, an increase of 2 since yesterday. Three are in intensive care, which is one less than yesterday. All three are receiving ventilator treatment, an increase of one since Wednesday. No new deaths with Covid-19 were registered.

Previous days this week saw 111 (Wednesday), 99 (Tuesday) and 94 (Monday) cases registered. The figure was under 100 for seven consecutive days during last week.

The figure of 179 from Thursday is the highest daily tally since April 22nd.

Aalborg University senior consultant Henrik Nielsen said Thursday’s number represented “a bit of a jump”.

“This is a number that is clearly higher than we have seen daily during the last couple of weeks. It’s a very sudden change,” Nielsen told Ritzau.

A significant proportion of the new infections took place in Odense Municipality, where 31 cases were registered. That has been connected to an outbreak at the city’s teacher training college UCL, where 1,072 students have now been sent home and switched to online classes.

Odense Municipality currently has an infection rate of 36.7 per 100,000 residents for the last week.

That provides cause for optimism over controlling the increasing in national infection numbers, Nielsen said.

“It is easiest to manage when outbreaks suddenly emerge locally, as we have seen in Ringsted and Aarhus, where it more or less is gone again now,” he said in reference to the two locations of the biggest local outbreaks in August.

“It makes sense to clamp down locally in Odense so the outbreak can be put out again,” he added.

The professor also noted that the situation at hospitals was unchanged by higher infection numbers than early in the summer.

“As the weeks and months pass since we opened society in May, it is becoming more and more striking that there’s a distinction between developments at the hospitals and the number of new infections,” he said.

“This is clearly different to the spring (situation). And it just goes on and on. So it’s a different pandemic now than the one we saw in the spring,” he added.

READ ALSO: Denmark to test people with and without Covid-19 symptoms at the same place


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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.”