Covid-19: Danish R-number at lowest level since June

The R-number, also known as reproduction rate, of Covid-19 in Denmark is currently 0.7, according to updated figures released on Tuesday.

Covid-19: Danish R-number at lowest level since June
Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

That puts the current spread of the coronavirus in the country at its lowest level since June, the last time such a figure was recorded.

The R-number is a measure of the current state of the epidemic within a society. An R-number over 1.0 means 10 infected people will infected more than 10 others, meaning the epidemic will grow.

If the R-number is less than 1.0, the epidemic is receding.

The figure is calculated using infection numbers from around 10 days ago, meaning there is an inherent lag in the measure.

It is nevertheless a key factor used by authorities in assessments of the current status of the Covid-19 pandemic in Denmark.

“We can state there is a falling epidemic here at the start of September,” health minister Magnus Heunicke wrote on Twitter.

“It is evident that Denmark is in a very good position. The vaccines and good efforts by everyone in Denmark for a long time are the basis of us being so well set,” he added.

From September 10th, Covid-19 will no longer be classed as a “critical threat to society”. That means the government will lose the legal powers to impose bans on people gathering, demands for Covid-19 passes, and demands for face masks.

Instead, the coronavirus will continue to be rated an infectious disease which is “dangerous to public health”, giving the government and health authorities additional powers to test people and collect and share health data. 

The beginning of September has also seen a falling trend in the number of daily cases recorded by health authorities.

The average of 932 cases per day registered in August has fallen to 625 so far in September.

On Tuesday, 451 new cases were registered from 43,694 PCR tests, giving a test positivity rate of 1.03 percent.

“It is positive that we are seeing this falling trend in infection numbers and for me it is clear evidence that the vaccines work,” Torben Mogensen, chairperson of lung disease charity Lungeforeningen, told news wire Ritzau.

“It’s therefore now a question of bringing the remaining (unvaccinated) people in so we get even better protection in society before the weather gets worse,” Mogensen added.

Around 75.5 percent of the population have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in Denmark. 72.8 percent are fully vaccinated.

READ ALSO: Readers reveal: How do you feel about the lifting of Danish Covid-19 restrictions?

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Greenland foreign minister axed over independence remarks

Greenland's pro-independence foreign minister Pele Broberg was demoted on Monday after saying that only Inuits should vote in a referendum on whether the Arctic territory should break away from Denmark.

Greenland foreign minister axed over independence remarks
Greenland's pro-independence minister Pele Broberg (far R) with Prime Minister Mute Egede (2nd R), Danish foreign minister Jeppe Kofod and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd R) at a press briefing in Greenland in May 2021. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Rye Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

Prime Minister Mute Egede, who favours autonomy but not independence, said the ruling coalition had agreed to a reshuffle after a controversial interview by the minister of the autonomous Arctic territory.

Broberg was named business and trade minister and Egede will take on the foreign affairs portfolio.

The prime minister, who took power in April after a snap election, underscored that “all citizens in Greenland have equal rights” in a swipe at Broberg.

Broberg in an interview to Danish newspaper Berlingske said he wanted to reserve voting in any future referendum on independence to Inuits, who comprise more than 90 percent of Greenland’s 56,000 habitants.

“The idea is not to allow those who colonised the country to decide whether they can remain or not,” he had said.

In the same interview he said he was opposed to the term the “Community of the Kingdom” which officially designates Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, saying his country had “little to do” with Denmark.

Greenland was a Danish colony until 1953 and became a semi-autonomous territory in 1979.

The Arctic territory is still very dependent on Copenhagen’s subsidies of around 526 million euros ($638 million), accounting for about a third of its budget.

But its geostrategic location and massive mineral reserves have raised international interest in recent years, as evidenced by former US president Donald Trump’s swiftly rebuffed offer to buy it in 2019.

READ ALSO: US no longer wants to buy Greenland, Secretary of State confirms

Though Mute Egede won the election in April by campaigning against a controversial uranium mining project, Greenland plans to expand its economy by developing its fishing, mining and tourism sectors, as well as agriculture in the southern part of the island which is ice-free year-round.

READ ALSO: Danish, Swiss researchers discover world’s ‘northernmost’ island