Covid-19: Expert group says Denmark could reach 2020 peak infection numbers

Covid-19 testing in Denmark in October 2020. Infections are expected to remain high in coming weeks, notably amongst under-60s and unvaccinated people. an expert group said on November 2nd.
Covid-19 testing in Denmark in October 2020. Infections are expected to remain high in coming weeks, notably amongst under-60s and unvaccinated people. an expert group said on November 2nd. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix
The coming weeks could see Denmark match its highest ever totals for the number of daily infections with Covid-19, according to an advisory group. The number of patients admitted to hospitals with the virus will also increase.

An updated forecast for infection trends in November and early December was released on Tuesday by an expert group for mathematical modelling under the national infectious disease agency, State Serum Institute (SSI).

The group estimates between 2,000 and 4,500 infections per day at the beginning of December provided societal activity continues as it is now.

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The record-highest number of infections recorded in a day in Denmark was 4,508 at the peak of the second wave on December 18th last year.

Up to 60-160 people could be hospitalised with the virus daily in early December, according to the projections. This does not mean the number of people in hospital with Covid-19 will increase this much each day, because it does not take into account the number of discharged patients.

The mathematical modelling accounts for the period up to December 5th.

Wednesday saw 1,978 new infections with Covid-19 registered in Denmark, according to SSI’s daily update. 114,365 tests were conducted, giving a test positivity rate of 1.73 percent.

264 people were in hospital in Denmark with the coronavirus at Wednesday’s update, which showed an increase in the total for the fourth consecutive day. It is also the highest number for hospitalisations since February.

The expert group expects the majority of infections between now and December to occur in people under the age of 60 and those who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

It should be noted that the projections are estimates and must be attached with a degree of uncertainty. Some of that certainty lies in potential changes to public behaviour if infections continue to increase, the expert group said.

An earlier projection by the group, released in October, proved to give a low estimate of the number of hospitalisations now occurring.

That may be explained in part by increased testing, including of patients who are admitted to hospital for non-Covid-19 reasons in accordance with new guidelines.

A change in public activity may also be a factor.

“We cannot say quite exactly what the reason is for this jump. It comes in the wake of the autumn holidays where people are often closer and together with their families in mixed generations,” Doctor Camilla Holten Møller, head of the expert group, said in a press statement.

An updated projection by the expert group is due two weeks from now.


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