Danish Covid-19 hospitalisations at lowest point since early December

The number of Covid-19 in patients in Denmark is the lowest since December 15th of last year.

Danish Covid-19 hospitalisations at lowest point since early December
Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The numbers from Denmark’s national disease agency, State Serum Institute (SSI), indicate a total of 444 Covid-19 patients in Danish hospitals, a decrease of 44 in the past 24 hours. That figure stood at 439 on December 15th.

The curent figure is significantly lower than at the peak of the second wave, when it exceeded 900 in late December and topped at 964 on January 4th.

During the spring wave of the virus, the highest number of Covid-19 inpatients was 535, recorded on April 1st.

Doctors are welcoming the decline in Covid-19 in-patients.

“The fewer corona patients that are in the hospital, the more capacity there is for other things. We have time to take care of other things,” said Christian Wamberg, chief physician at the intensive care unit at Bispebjerg Hospital.

“The number of hospitalised patients has meant that we needed to close some of the other functions, so that we could take care of the corona patients,” Wamberg said.

Out of the 444 patients currently hospitalised with the coronavirus, 86 are in the intensive care unit and of those 63 are receiving help from a ventilator.

Both the number of patients in the intensive unit and on respirators are the lowest since around Christmas.

SSI has registered 553 new infections with coronavirus since Wednesday.

The infection numbers were found among 147,175 tests, making the positivity rate around 0.38 percent.

“If we test 150,000 people and can find 553 infections, we are down to where we have control over it,” said Wamberg.

With the latest infection numbers, there are now more than 200,000 citizens who have tested positive with coronavirus since the end of February last year.

According to SSI’s numbers, 1,342 people have tested positive for the more infectious B117 variant since January 30th.

In total, 2,184 people have died with Covid-19 since March last year.

Denmark is currently vaccinating the population against the virus. The latest numbers from SSI show that 192,990 have begun being vaccinated, which corresponds to 3.31 percent of the population. 105,122 citizens – or 1.8 percent of the population – have received the second dose and thereby finished being vaccinated.

READ ALSO: Denmark to recommend AstraZeneca vaccine for under-65s only

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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.”