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Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday

Today in Denmark: A round-up of the latest news on Wednesday
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is in isolation after taking a Covid-19 test. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
We’ll admit it – the biggest story of today might not come out of Denmark. Nevertheless, you can find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short round-up of the news in less than five minutes.

PM in isolation after Covid-19 outbreak at parliament

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has been tested for coronavirus and is currently in isolation, the Prime Minister’s office confirmed in a statement on Wednesday morning.

A series of ministers, members of parliament and a party leader – Søren Pape Poulsen of the Conservatives – were yesterday confirmed to have tested positive for Covid-19. A number of other parliamentarians have isolated due to suspected contact with the virus and Frederiksen’s questions session in parliament was postponed.

READ ALSO: Is Denmark's parliament at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak?

Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup, who said on Tuesday he was experiencing symptoms and awaiting a test result, has now confirmed a positive test for Covid-19. Hækkerup said in a Facebook post that he had a cough and fever but is in good spirits.

Frederiksen, along with foreign minister Jeppe Kofod and finance minister Nicolai Wammen, attended a meeting alongside Hækkerup at the end of last week and are now awaiting the results of their Covid-19 tests.

An ex-minister suggested that procedures at the Christiansborg parliament be adapted to prevent the spread of infection.

“Perhaps – very carefully suggested – Parliament should rethink consultations and votes. Not by not having them. But the way they take place. Disease is every man's master,” Søren Pind wrote on Twitter.

The parliament has now said it will restrict the number of people who can attend meetings.

Potential scandal over pesticides in drinking water

Reports emerged on Monday evening that Danish municipalities have given incorrect dispensations to waterworks, enabling them to exceed limits on pesticides in drinking water.

The dispensations have been in breach of EU rules since 2013, according to news wire Ritzau, meaning that authorities in Denmark may have allowed unfit drinking water for several years.

The EU Commission has contacted Denmark’s Environmental Protection Agency (Miljøstyrelsen) on repeated occasions over the issue, according to the report.

Minister for the Environment Lea Wermelin said that dispensations “which are illegal must be stopped”, while Carl Valentin, environment spokesperson with left wing party SF, took to social media to call for a review.

Denmark’s Patient Safety Authority has reviewed the chemicals in the water and found no health risk related to drinking the water, according to the report.

It’s not the first time Danish tap water has been the subject of suspected mismanagement.

Danish company churns out windmills to up turnover

Vestas, the Danish engineering company famous as a wind turbine maker and a significant employer of foreign nationals and Danes, produced record amounts of windmills in the third quarter of 2020, according to results published today.

The company’s turnover in Q3 increased by 31 percent to 35.5 billion kroner, giving a profit of 2.2 billion kroner – a similar profit to the comparable period last year, when the sale of windparks in Romania boosted numbers.

Tivoli introduces booking system

Iconic tourist attraction Tivoli is to introduce a booking system for guests after queues played havoc with social distancing guidelines.

The popular amusement park – which served as a temporary childcare location earlier in the Covid-19 pandemic – was particularly busy during its Halloween opening times.

The new booking system will be in place when the park opens again for its Christmas season on November 13th, meaning visitors will have to book their day at the rides in advance. The exact details of the system are yet to be confirmed.

Covid-19 infections remain high

Tuesday’s daily update from the State Serum Institute infectious disease agency saw a record 1,353 new cases of coronavirus registered in Denmark, albeit from an also unusually high number of tests: 73,710. Those figures give a test positivity rate of 1.8 percent.

The reproduction rate or R-number is at 1.1, meaning the virus is currently spreading in Denmark. If the reproduction rate is above 1.0, that means the number of infected in a society will grow. If it is slightly below, the number will decline. 

169 people are currently hospitalised with Covid-19 in Denmark.

Health minister Magnus Heunicke tweeted that it is “therefore important that we work together to break chains of infection.”

You can check the current Covid-19 restrictions in Denmark via the articles below.

American election

With the US election on a knife edge, it’s hard to see what the future holds for Americans, including those based in Denmark. We’ll have reaction from US nationals in Denmark at some time in the coming days (possibly today), once there’s enough calm to pause for a moment and comment. Keep an eye on our homepage for that.

Danish vocabulary:

  • Kontakttal: reproduction rate or R-number
  • Omsætning: turnover
  • Forlystelsepark: amusement park

We're trialling a short daily round-up of the news, in addition to our other articles and features about life in Denmark. We would love to know what you think of this article. Is it useful and would you like to see it continue, or would you prefer a weekly round-up, or something else entirely? Please email [email protected] to let us know.

 


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