Dozens more Omicron Covid-19 cases detected in Denmark

Additional test centres have opened in Denmark with military and emergency service personnel assigned to assist in their operation.
Additional test centres have opened in Denmark with military and emergency service personnel assigned to assist in their operation. Photo: Frank Cilius/Ritzau Scanpix
A total of 261 cases of Covid-19 caused by the Omicron variant have now been detected in Denmark.

That means 78 new cases were detected between Sunday and Monday.

The figures come from national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute, SSI.

Danish authorities are now able to detect the variant more quickly with special variant PCR tests, rather than relying on genome sequencing.

“State Serum Institute is finding an increasing number of Omicron cases in Denmark,” the agency said in a statement.

The variant PCR tests are now considered reliable enough for detection of Omicron that they can form the basis for a confirmed case, SSI said.

SSI director Henrik Ullum said that Danish Omicron cases were now not all linked to recent travel to South Africa, where the variant was first detected and flagged in late November.

“There are now ongoing infection chains where the virus is found in people who have not recently traveled or are contacts to travelers,” Ullum said on Sunday.

Authorities will now focus on slowing the spread of the variant, he said.

“The time we win should be used to vaccinate as many as possible. High immunity makes our society more robust if the Omicron variant spreads further,” he said.

Health authorities have also extended contact tracing for Omicron, asking the contacts of contacts of suspected cases to isolate and test for the coronavirus on days one, four and six after the possible exposure. This applies regardless of vaccination status.

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