Denmark registers nearly 1,500 new Covid-19 cases in one day

A total of 1,468 new cases of Covid-19 were registered by health authorities in Denmark on Tuesday.

Denmark registers nearly 1,500 new Covid-19 cases in one day
Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The total was confirmed by national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI) in its daily update. The new confirmed cases come from 71,322 tests. That corresponds to a test positivity rate of 2.06, the highest ever recorded.

Tuesday’s daily figure of 1,468 new coronavirus cases is the second-highest recorded in Denmark up to now. 1,636 were registered on November 28th, although that covered a period of slightly longer than 24 hours. It should be noted that fewer tests were conducted daily during the spring wave of the epidemic.

Nine further deaths with the coronavirus were also registered by SSI on Tuesday. That takes Denmark’s overall number of fatalities due to Covid-19 to 846.

There are currently 254 inpatients with Covid-19 at Danish hospitals, 5 fewer than in the previous update. 38 are in intensive care with 24 on ventilator treatment.

“The proportion of infections amongst tested people is a bit higher than it has been recently. But that could be because we are better at finding the people who really need to be tested, rather than a reflection of an increase of infections in society,” said Nina Weis, professor and consultant at the infectious disease department at Hvidovre Hospital.

“What I think is important for the whole health service to be able to keep going is the number of hospitalisations,” Weis said.

“That number is relatively stable. It is absolutely within the limits of what the health service can cope with. In that regard, I’m not worried,” she added.

Health minister Magnus Heunicke tweeted on Tuesday that Denmark’s reproduction rate or R-number is currently at 1.1.

If the reproduction rate or R-number is above 1.0, the number of infected in a society will grow because each infected person will pass on the virus to an average of more than one other person. If the R-number is slightly below 1.0, the number will decline. 

The government is expected to present new measures to contain the spread of the virus on Tuesday afternoon. Those are likely to take the form of restrictions in the Copenhagen area.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: New restrictions expected in Copenhagen area


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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.”