SHARE
COPY LINK

COVID-19

Denmark reports ‘concerning’ jump in Omicron cases

Denmark's health authorities said on Sunday that the country had seen a "concerning" jump to 183 confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Denmark reports 'concerning' jump in Omicron cases
Despite measures like the return of face masks in shops, Denmark is seeing high infection rates. Photo: Søren Bidstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

The number represented a tripling of confirmed cases in  48 hours, from 18 confirmed and 42 suspected cases on Friday, according to data from the SSI public health institute.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) had previously tallied just 182 cases across all of the European Union, plus Norway and Iceland.

READ ALSO: 

  • Denmark is one of Europe’s most advanced countries in sequencing of coronavirus variants. It often detects more cases more quickly than its neighbours — which does not necessarily indicate higher rates of infection. SSI’s chief said the increase in Omicron cases was nevertheless “concerning”, adding that “there are now chains of infection where the variant is found in people who have not travelled abroad or been in contact with travellers”.

Also on Sunday, the ECDC said Omicron had been reported in 17 countries in its region.

“The majority of confirmed cases have a history of travel to countries in Africa, with some having taken connecting flights at other locations between Africa and Europe,” the ECDC said on its website before the Danish announcement.

Nevertheless, “several EU/EEA countries (Belgium, Germany, Spain) detected cases without an epidemiological link to areas where community transmission of the Omicron variant is documented or presumed,” it added. “This indicates that undetected community transmission could be ongoing in these countries.”

Member comments

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

TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

SHOW COMMENTS