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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday

Find out what's going on in Denmark today with The Local's short roundup of the news in less than five minutes.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
A test center at the Aalborg Barracks in Nørresundby, 28 October 2020. After a brief dip in daily Covid infection tallies due to limited testing, cases are roaring back. Photo: Henning Bagger / Ritzau Scanpix

‘Cloudbursts’ are over (for now), but expect occasional showers 

This week’s torrential downpours are over, the Danish Meteorological Institute assures us.

Denmark weathered 35 so-called cloudbursts in three days, seven of them double “cloudbursts”. Some areas even experienced a little cheeky July hail shower. 

A cloudburst occurs when 15 millimeters of rain (about 0.6 inches for people who experience puddles imperially) fall in the span of half an hour. A double cloudburst dumps 30 millimeters of rain in the same 30 minutes. 

The DMI anticipates a slight temperature drop in the next few days and more modest showers. 

“Although they can be powerful with lightning and thunder, they are not expected to be quite as capable of delivery as we have seen on Monday and Tuesday,” a DMI press release said.

Would-be bathers should be cautious of both the storms themselves and sewer overflow that can contaminate popular swim spots after heavy rains. 

READ MORE: Why you should be careful at Denmark’s beaches this summer

Covid infection numbers rebound, but hospital admissions stay low

The Statens Serum Institut, Denmark’s infectious disease agency, reported 1,284 new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday. It’s the highest single-day tally since May 21st, when 1,251 positive cases were identified from 211,369 PCR test results. Notably, the Wednesday figures come from only 80,295 PCR test results, indicating a percent positive rate of 1.6, Denmark’s highest since January 13th. 

Some experts attribute the high infection rate – without a corresponding uptick in hospitalisations – may be due to Denmark’s partially vaccinated population. 

“It may be caused by the fact that first-time vaccinated are not very well protected against the Delta variant,” Torben Mogensen, chairman of the Lung Association, told Danish news agency Ritzau. 

As the SSI announced on Monday, 22 percent of Danes infected with the Delta variant had received their first but not their second Covid jab. 

Backlog of procedures and appointments builds from nurses’ strike 

Danish nurses striking for fair pay continue to put the squeeze on administrators. Last week alone, 3,608 treatments were postponed across the country as part of the nurses’ strike. That makes a cumulative 45,951 delayed treatments since the nurses’ began on June 19th. 

It’s important to note that 15,429 of the patients affected – about 33.6. percent – were referred out to private providers, because Denmark guarantees the right to treatment within 30 days. 

Jakob Kjellberg, a health economist at the National Research and Analysis Center for Welfare, told Danish news agency Ritzau that the current number of delays isn’t yet critical for the health service. The strike will only really tip the scales if it continues through August and into September, Ritzau reports. 

READ MORE: What Danish nurses’ strike means for you

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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

No extra booster dose, school to trial four-day week, PostNord to document failed deliveries, and mortgage arrears on the rise. Here are some of the main stories from Denmark.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Covid-19: Denmark decides against additional booster this winter

No additional booster vaccination against Covid-19 will be offered this winter, the Danish Health Authority confirmed on Wednesday.

Together with an expert advisory group, the Health Authority has considered whether to offer vulnerable groups an extra booster vaccination against Covid-19 this winter.

People at higher risk of serious illness with the virus including those over the age of 85 will not be offered a further booster this winter, the authority has decided.

Denmark offered a booster in autumn 2022 to all people over the age of 50 and younger people considered vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The booster was backed up by data suggesting it improves protection against hospitalisation with Covid-19 by 74 percent, according to the Danish Health Authority.

Danish vocab: boosterstik – booster dose

Defense Minister hospitalised after dizzy spell

Denmark’s defense minister Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, was examined at the Rigshospitalet hospital in Copenhagen on Wednesday after a spell of dizziness and a headache.

“Fortunately, there is nothing serious to report and I am feeling well again,” Ellemann-Jensen said in a Facebook post. “I, therefore, expect to be back in work clothes again tomorrow, and then of course I will pay extra attention to my health in the near future.” 

On Monday, Ellemann-Jensen was in the  Ukrainian city of Mykolaiv together with Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (S) and Foreign Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, with the three meeting the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyj.

Danish vocab: et ildebefindende – a malaise 

Danish school to trial four-day week

Pupils and teachers at Aalborg Cathedral School are to launch an experiment with a four-day week after the summer holidays, exchanging six days of their summer holidays for six Mondays off over the autumn term to see if it brings improved well-being. 

“We have been inspired by those workplaces which operate with four-day working weeks. Then we talked about whether we could do something similar, because there is a lot of pressure on both staff and students,” Christian Nielsen Warmin, the school’s headteacher, told the Danish broadcaster TV2

Danish vocab: bedre trivsel – improved well-being

PostNord to consider photo documentation of failed deliveries 

Denmark’s PostNord postal service is considering making postal workers document failed deliveries to reduce the level of customer complaints. 

The company’s CEO in Denmark, Peter Kjær Jensen, said he believed that it was rare for postal workers to claim to have tried to deliver a package without even visiting the property, but acknowledged that many people in Denmark felt angry when they receive a message about a failed delivery despite being home all day. 

“We have very few of these cases, but they do exist. And we have also had postmen who are not skilled enough, or who have misunderstood how parcels are delivered correctly,” he said. 

The company is currently trialling photo documentation in Stenløse, Ølstykke and Veksø, with postal workers required to take a photo of the package that has been delivered without direct customer contact in order to document the delivery, or take a picture of the building’s entrance to prove that they have visited.

“Customers will be able to access the image via our app if the package fails to be delivered,” Jensen said. 

Danish vocab: dygtig – skilled

Danish mortgage arrears increase as costs go up

A higher number of Danish homeowners are finding it difficult to meet the repayment schedule on their mortgages, new figures show.

Data from the interest organisation from banks, Finans Danmark, shows that the “arrears percent” or restanceprocent was 0.14 percent in the third quarter of 2022, a small increase compared to preceding quarters.

That means homeowners on average did not pay 1.4 kroner in every 1,000 kroner they were due to pay on their mortgages during the quarter.

It is understandable that late 2022 presented challenges for homeowners, an analyst said in comments to the Ritzau newswire.

Danish vocab: restanceprocent – the percentage of homeowners in arrears