Covid-19: How many infections are expected in Denmark in late autumn?

People queue for Covid-19 testing in Copenhagen in April this year. An increase in daily infections is projected towards the end of autumn. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix
An increase in the number of confirmed Covid-19 infections is expected in Denmark over the coming weeks. Experts have given a range of expected daily infections, but say the impact could be ‘at the low end’ of the scale.

Recent weeks have seen an increasing trend of daily new infections recorded by the national infectious disease agency, State Serum Institute (SSI).

While last week saw daily registrations hover at around 700, the figure on Wednesday was 1,127 and on Thursday 1,247. 

The trend is unsurprising given an estimate provided by an expert group working under SSI. The group on Thursday released the estimate based on a new mathematical model of a possible new wave of the virus as colder weather tightens its grip.

According to the expert group’s estimate, the daily infection number will be between 600 and 3,200 by the middle of November, with 25-110 new hospital admissions daily. This does not mean the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 will increase by this amount daily, because the figure does not take into account discharges from hospital.

Thursday saw 34 new hospital admissions with the coronavirus, according to SSI figures.

“The models show how it will go in a scenario where activity in society and vaccination rates both correspond to the level we have now,” Doctor Camilla Holten Møller, who leads the expert group, told news wire Ritzau.

“Based on this, we still calculate an increase in the daily infection number and new hospitalisations during the next six weeks,” Møller said.

A degree of uncertainty should be tagged to the estimates because public behaviour can change, the group notes. Denmark lifted all public coronavirus restrictions in September. The country’s vaccination rate is 75 percent of eligible persons, according to latest data.

SSI also said that both infection numbers and hospitalisations are more likely to fall into the lower range of the estimate.

“We produce a forecast that shows how the trend will be if everything else is unchanged. That’s why we get these large ranges the further away in time we go,” Robert Skov, senior medical consultant with SSI’s infection prevention unit, told broadcaster DR.

“The expectation is that we won’t get right up there and hit 150 new hospitalisations per day by the end of the period,” Skov also said.

The majority of new cases are expected to occur amongst younger and unvaccinated people.

However, the modelling also predicts a “significant number” of infections in vaccinated people aged 12-59.

The calculations do not take into effect the impact of booster jabs, also known as revaccination. Health authorities recently announced that revaccination will be offered six and half months after original vaccination. This will primarily affect people aged over 65 initially.

Care home residents and vulnerable groups are among those who have already been offered – and given — a booster jab. Around 3.3 percent of the Danish population has so far received a booster.

READ ALSO: Denmark to give booster Covid-19 jab six months after vaccination

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