Danish coronavirus tests return more positive cases

Danish coronavirus tests return more positive cases
File photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix
The proportion of coronavirus tests in Denmark that return positive results has increased in recent days. The country’s health minister has expressed concern.

On Thursday last week, 454 positive tests were registered by the national infectious disease agency SSI. That is not an unusual daily total when set in the context of Denmark’s infection numbers in September and October – but it came from just 34,847 tests, notably lower than testing numbers in past weeks.

Denmark regularly saw around 50,000 tests carried out daily in September.

“We are finding a relatively high number of infections at the moment. In the last week, a larger proportion of the people we are testing have tested positive for corona,” the health minister, Magnus Heunicke, wrote on social media.

“The level we are currently seeing with regard to the percentage of positive tests is the highest we’ve seen for a long time. That trend concerns me,” he continued.

Heunicke cited specifically the figures from last Thursday as reflecting the increased in proportion of positive tests.

One explanation could be that fewer people presented for testing during last week – when many took autumn leave throughout the country – and that testing was subsequently more focused.

While Thursday’s numbers correspond to a 1.3 percent positive rate for the day’s testing, the most recent figures from Sunday show 451 confirmed new cases from 31,562 tests – a 1.4 percent positive rate.

Heunicke stressed the importance of following hygiene and social distancing guidelines so that Denmark can maintain a stable level of infection spread and avoid the need for partial or local lockdowns currently seen in a number of other countries in Europe.

“We must remember to keep a distance. We must remember to stay at home if we have symptoms of coronavirus,” he wrote.

The highest raw daily total of detected cases in Denmark came on September 25th, when 678 new positive tests were registered.

The reproduction rate of the virus, a measure of the rate of its spread, was reported to reach 1.5 last month but has since fallen. Last week it was reported to be at 1.0.

October has seen daily totals for new cases range between 290 and 536.

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