Delta variant now makes up nearly 80 percent of Denmark’s new Covid cases

Delta variant now makes up nearly 80 percent of Denmark's new Covid cases
Danish fans before the European Championship match between Denmark-Belgium in the Park, Thursday 17 June 2021. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe / Ritzau Scanpix
At the beginning of June, the Delta variant accounted for less than 1 percent of Denmark's Covid cases. Scarcely six weeks later, it's the runaway dominant strain.

Covid cases in Denmark have risen steadily since the beginning of July, with today’s report cresting 1,200 new infections, according to the Statens Serum Institute, the Danish infectious disease agency. 

While politicians had eyed further rolling back Covid restrictions in recent days, some experts say the acceleration of the Delta strain indicates that would be premature. 

Viggo Andreasen, associate professor of mathematical epidemiology at Roskilde University, told Danish news agency Ritzau that Danish decision makers should look to the example of the Netherlands after they relaxed restrictions recently. 

“There it was not a doubling in a week [as Denmark has seen], but closer to a fivefold increase,” Andreasen said. “They hurried to reintroduce restrictions.” 

The Delta variant, which is thought to be about twice as infectious as the original Alpha variant, is gaining steam through Denmark’s population of unvaccinated young people. 

READ MORE: Danish health officials scold young people as Covid cases continue to rise 

About 48.2 percent of all new Covid infections in the past seven days have been in people ages 20-29, according to data from the SSI’s coronavirus dashboard.

Notably, the new infections are mostly among men, SSI director Henrik Ullum told the Danish newspaper Berlingske. 

“We can see that it is primarily young people in big cities who become infected,” Ullum said. “Right now there is a predominance of men, and otherwise there has not been in the epidemic. It has been very evenly distributed between the sexes. Without saying it for sure, the typical football fan – who participates in big-screen events where, among other things, there has been corona infection – are men.”

This follows earlier reports that Euro Cup events hadn’t moved the needle on infection rates in Denmark. On July 13th, the municipality of Aarhus asked residents who attended Euro Cup events to get tested for the coronavirus, according to Danish news agency Ritzau. Covid cases have been on the rise in Aarhus – with 813 new infections over the previous seven days – and the Danish Agency for Patient Safety informed Aarhus officials that many of the infected had identified football events and Euro Cup festivities as possible contact points. 

Aarhus has the third highest incidence rate of all of Denmark’s municipalities, with 262.9 Covid cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the last week. Copenhagen, with the highest incidence rate, tallied 1,670 new cases over the same time period for a rate of 262.9 cases per 100,000. 


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