One in four people infected with Covid-19 in Denmark is from minority background

Just over 25 percent of people who have been infected with the new coronavirus in Denmark come from minority ethnic backgrounds, meaning the demographic is over-represented in the figures.

One in four people infected with Covid-19 in Denmark is from minority background
Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

A report from the State Serum Institute (SSI), the national infectious disease institute, found that 25.7 percent of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 are from ‘non-Western’ backgrounds.

‘Non-Western’ people make up 8.9 percent of the population, according to SSI’s analysis.

Statistics Denmark considers ‘Western’ to mean originating from EU countries along with Andorra, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. Everywhere else is ‘non-Western'.

People considered not of Danish heritage are categorised into two groups: ‘immigrants' and ‘descendants' of immigrants (‘efterkommere' in Danish).

A person is considered to have Danish heritage if she or he has at least one parent who is a Danish citizen and was born in Denmark. People defined as ‘immigrants' and ‘descendants' do not fulfil those criteria. The difference between the two is that an ‘immigrant' was born outside of Denmark, while a ‘descendant' was born in Denmark. 

READ ALSO: Here's where Denmark's foreign residents live and where they come from

People with heritage in Somalia, Pakistan and Turkey constitute a relatively large proportion of the cases in Denmark, with between 646 and 676 cases for each of those three countries.

The figures cover the period from the beginning of the pandemic until the first week of September.

From March 23rd onwards a “significantly higher” proportion of people from minority backgrounds have been tested for the virus, the SSI report also states.

The higher infection figures amongst minority groups are significant because they could point to trends relating to living conditions or people who work in higher-risk sectors.

“(The high number of positive tests) may be a result of people of non-Western heritage to a greater extent working in sectors or living in housing conditions where they have a greater risk of being infected,” the report states.

READ ALSO: Why coronavirus spike in Aarhus was not caused by a single event

536 new cases of Covid-19 were registered across Denmark on Friday, continuing the trend of increased infections in the country seen since mid-September. 106 people are currently admitted to hospital with the virus, with 17 in ICU care.

Member comments

  1. This is certainly due to very low Vitamin D levels in those people. Darker and black skins camnot develop enough Vitamin D from the sun in northern latitudes. Vitamin D boosts the immune system and has a protective effect on the alveoli in the lungs. It is important to inform these immigrant families about Vitamin D and encourage them to take relatively high doses of it daily, especially in Autumn and Winter when there is far less sunlight. Vitamin D is very cheap.

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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.”