Denmark reaches highest number of daily coronavirus infections since April

317 new cases of Covid-19 have been registered in Denmark in the last 24 hours, the highest number since April 8, when there were 408 new cases of infection.

Denmark reaches highest number of daily coronavirus infections since April
A mobile coronavirus test unit in Aarhus from August 2020. Michael Drost-Hansen / Ritzau Scanpix

Thursday's infection rate is the fifth highest recorded in one day during the epidemic. However far more are now being tested for Covid-19 than in the Spring.

“Now, unfortunately, the infection is rising again. We are in the difficult place that we will be until there is a vaccine or a treatment”, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Thursday.  

“We will do everything we can not to shut down, as we did on March 11. It was the right thing to do then, it will not be the right thing to do again”, she added. 

Thursday's figures are higher than Wednesday's figures, where 251 new cases of Covid-19 were registered. 

In 84 out of the country's 98 municipalities, new infections have been found in the past week. It is a completely different picture from earlier this summer, where many municipalities did not register any infection cases for weeks.

There are now 35 municipalities that have had more than 20 infected per. 100,000 inhabitants in the last week. Yesterday it was 28 municipalities.

On Thursday Ritzau reported that 18 classes at a school in Roskilde had been sent home after a coronavirus infection. 

The high number of new infections comes at a time when a number of restrictions have been introduced in 18 municipalities.

There has been a reduction of the number of people who may gather in one place, from 100 to 50 and new restrictions have been placed on bars, cafes and restaurants. These establishments will now be required to close at midnight instead of 2am.

Most recently, police have introduced a residence ban on two places in Nørrebro, Copenhagen, which young people have recently used as a gathering point.

The residence ban means that no residence is allowed in the areas. Regular activities such as walking and running and dog walking in the areas are still allowed.

The residence bans apply to Hørsholmparken and Skateparken in Nørrebroparken from Thursday evening at 6 pm to Sunday at 6 am.



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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.”