Denmark has ‘basis’ for further lifting of Covid-19 restrictions

Denmark has 'basis' for further lifting of Covid-19 restrictions
Health minister Magnus Heunicke. Photo: Jens Dresling/Ritzau Scanpix
Current Covid-19 infection rates in Denmark provide the ‘basis’ for a further lifting of restrictions, health minister Magnus Heunicke said on Tuesday.

The reproduction rate or R-number for Covid-19 in Denmark is currently estimated to be 1.0, Heunicke wrote on Twitter. The measure is an estimate of whether an infection is spreading in society.

A number of 1.0 indicates that 10 people infected with the virus will infect 10 others, and that the epidemic will therefore not grow.

The figure was last week calculated to be 0.9. At this number, the epidemic will want because 10 infected people would only pass the virus to 9 others.

Because the R-number is 1.0, “we have the basis for a further controlled reopening (of society),” Heunicke wrote.

The figure is calculated based on infection numbers registered over the last week as well as the number of recent hospitalisations.

The national infectious disease agency, SSI, has estimated the R-number for the more infectious variant B117 to be 1.14, however. As such, the number of people infected with the variant will increase. The calculation for B117 uses data reaching further back than that for the general R-number.

B117, first identified in the United Kingdom late last year, now constitutes 80 percent of new cases in Denmark.

SSI has said it will no longer calculate a separate R-number for the variant.

When the government announced the slight lifting of restrictions on March 1st, it said infection trends would be reviewed before deciding whether to allow additional reopenings at schools by March 15th.

READ ALSO: Expected completion of Danish vaccination programme delayed by three weeks

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