Covid-19: Children amongst most infected in Denmark as new 2021 record set

The number of new Covid-19 infections in Denmark on Wednesday was 3,907, the highest figure recorded in 2021.

A file photo of a Covid-19 test centre in Denmark. The country register 3, 907 new cases on Wednesday.
A file photo of a Covid-19 test centre in Denmark. The country register 3, 907 new cases on Wednesday.Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The figure, published by national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI) is 8 higher than Tuesday’s total of 3,899.

Denmark’s booster vaccination programme against the virus is progressing, meanwhile, with the number of revaccinated people reaching 500,000 on Wednesday.

“We are continuing our efforts and yesterday alone 97,222 people booked an appointment for vaccinations including first, second doses and revaccination,” health minister Magnus Heunicke wrote on Twitter.

During the last week, 5,456 children aged 6-11 years have tested positive for the coronavirus. Denmark offers vaccinations to people aged 12 years and over.

A total of 89 children have been admitted to hospital in Denmark with Covid-19 throughout the pandemic.

“When we see so much spread of infection amongst children, as we are doing now, we can risk getting some of the very rare serious cases in children,” said Christian Morberg Wejse, professor at Aarhus University’s Department of Public Health.

Although serious illness with Covid-19 in children is rare, a very high number of cases increases the likelihood of rare instances, Wejse said.

A total of 347 people are currently admitted to hospitals nationally with Covid-19.

That is some way short of the peak in late 2020 and January this year, when the number of hospitalised patients exceeded 900.

But the current figure nevertheless constitutes a “significant strain on the health system”.

However, many hospitalised patients are among those who have been vaccinated against the virus, meaning they “typically have a very mild illness and are hospitalised short-term,” he noted.

The current high level of infections should be distinguished from the more moderate level of covid sickness compared to earlier waves, the professor argued.

“That is thanks to the vaccines to a great degree,” he said.

READ ALSO: How many ‘breakthrough’ Covid-19 infections are there in Denmark?

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Denmark’s Covid-19 hospitalisation figure ‘could reach 750’ in December

The number of people hospitalised with Covid-19 in Denmark could increase to 750 this month, according to a projection from an official expert group.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and senior health officials visit a vaccination centre at Copenhagen Central Station on December 3rd.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and senior health officials visit a vaccination centre at Copenhagen Central Station on December 3rd. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The expert group for mathematical modelling, which is attached to the national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI), released the estimate on Friday.

As of Friday afternoon, 449 patients with Covid-19 are admitted to hospitals in Denmark. The figure has been increasing in recent weeks but is still some way short of the peak hospitalisation figures from the winter 2020 wave, which exceeded 900.

“There are not catastrophic conditions yet but we have a combination of a tangible lack of nurses combined with this strain (of high patient numbers). It is clearly putting pressure on hospitals,” Kasper Karmark Iversen, senior medical consultant and professor at the University of Copenhagen and Herlev-Gentofte Hospital, told news wire Ritzau earlier this week.

The mathematical expert group calculates possible scenarios in which coronavirus restrictions could be phased out.

“The projections show a continued increase in the number of hospitalisations,” said the head of the group, Camilla Holten Møller.

“New hospitalisations of 70-200 per day and 550-750 in hospital (in total) are estimated up to the middle of December,” Møller said.

The figure for new hospitalisations does not account for discharged patients and therefore does not reflect the overall change in the total number of patients in hospital with Covid-19.

The expert group also predicts between 3,400 and 8,300 new cases of the virus daily by the middle of December. The group notes that its projections do not take into account the vaccination drive launched by the government this week. They also only partly account for anti-infection measures already in place, such as Covid-19 health pass (coronapas) requirements and face mask rules.

A total of 4,559 new Covid-19 cases were reported in SSI’s daily update on Friday. The total comes from 196,932 PCR tests, giving a positivity rate of 2.32 percent.

Daily cases have now been over 4,000 for six consecutive days. Friday’s positivity rate is a little lower than the typical rate seen this week, which is closer to 2.50.