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COVID-19

Dozens more Omicron Covid-19 cases detected in Denmark

A total of 261 cases of Covid-19 caused by the Omicron variant have now been 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

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.

READ ALSO: One billion Danish kroner assigned for ‘extraordinary’ health service spending

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COVID-19 STATS

Covid-19: Virus remains on downward trend in Denmark in latest report

The number of Covid-19 infections in Denmark is still declining, as has been the trend for some weeks.

Covid-19: Virus remains on downward trend in Denmark in latest report

In addition to confirmed cases, the number of PCR tests administered to check for the virus is also falling. Authorities recently announced that PCR testing capacity would be halved, before a strategy for testing next winter is announced later this year.

The continued falloff in cases was one of the trends noted in a new report from the infectious disease agency, State Serum Institute (SSI). The report is based on data from the most recent week.

During the period covered by the report, the number of new cases of Covid-19 fell by 18 percent, meaning 82 in 100,000 residents of Denmark tested positive for Covid-19.

The number of PCR tests fell by 14 percent during the same period, with around 7,000 tests administered each day.

“Transmission in the community is falling in general and across all age groups,” SSI medical head of department Rebecca Legarth told news wire Ritzau.

The decline in number of new recorded cases may be linked to the reduction in recorded number of hospital patients with a positive Covid test.

Last week saw the number of hospitalised people with Covid-19 fall by 23 percent. Not all people in hospital who have the virus are being treated for it, with their hospitalisation being for other reasons in many cases.

Denmark ended its Covid-19 restrictions in February and March, while health authorities also changed recommendations on when a PCR test should be taken.

In March, the Danish Health Authority changed its recommendations on when people with suspected Covid-19 should be tested for the coronavirus, with testing now only recommended if there is a “special medical reason” for doing so.

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