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COVID-19

Covid-19: Omicron variant expected to dominate in Denmark this week

Health authorities in Denmark believe the more transmissible Omicron variant could become the dominant form of Covid-19 in the Nordic country by the end of this week.

A file photo of a Covid-19 test centre in Copenhagen. Health authorities expect the Omicron variant to become dominant in the country this week.
A file photo of a Covid-19 test centre in Copenhagen. Health authorities expect the Omicron variant to become dominant in the country this week.Photo:Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

The national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI) said on Monday it expects the number of people infected with Covid-19 to reach over 10,000 per day by the end. The number of Monday was 7,799, a record since the beginning of the pandemic in Denmark.

SSI said it expects the Omicron variant to become dominant over the currently prevailing Delta variant during this week.

Registered cases of Omicron totalled 3,447 on Monday (the total since the variant was first identified in November). That figure increased by 966 between Sunday and Monday.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said in a tweet on Monday that SSI’s estimation for the increase in infection numbers was subject to a degree of uncertainty.

Heunicke said that the graph could be affected by the number of people who receive booster Covid-19 vaccinations.

Omicron has already significantly increased its share in the number of positive Danish Covid-19 tests.

On December 1st, 1.7 percent of positive tests were caused by the Omicron variant. That share had increased to 10.2 percent by December 9th, according to SSI data.

Over one third of Omicron cases have been recorded in the 20-29-year age group. Over half of all the variant cases – 1,929 – were in the Greater Copenhagen region, with 852 in Central Jutland, where second city Aarhus is located.

“Omicron is most prevalent in Greater Copenhagen but it is expected that the rest of the country will follow suit,” Heunicke tweeted.

14 people are currently hospitalised in Denmark with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, according to the SSI report.

The CEO of SSI, Henrik Ullum, said that an increase in the number of infections is likely to result in more hospital admissions with Covid-19.

480 people were hospitalised with the virus on Monday, an increase of 12 since Sunday.

“An increase in community transmissions will constitute a higher risk of consequent increase in the number of hospital admissions amongst unvaccinated and vaccinated vulnerable people,” Ullum said in an SSI statement.

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COVID-19 STATS

Covid-19: Danish authorities ’not concerned’ after new subvariant detected

A new subvariant of Covid-19 has been detected in Denmark. Health authorities say they are monitoring the situation.

Covid-19: Danish authorities ’not concerned’ after new subvariant detected

The new variant was first detected in India around three months ago and has now been detected in Denmark for the first time with two confirmed cases, news wire Ritzau reports.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke confirmed the variant had been found in Denmark in a Twitter post on Saturday.

The variant, BJ.1, is a subvariant of the existing Omicron form of the coronavirus and was first registered in India on July 2nd. It has since been detected in four other countries.

“Two cases of the new Covid-19 subvariant BJ.1 have been found in Denmark,” Heunicke wrote.

“It is completely expected that BJ.1 would appear in Denmark and the State Serum Institute [national infectious disease control agency, ed.] is not currently concerned but is following the situation closely,” he said.

It is currently unclear whether BJ.1, also termed BA.2.10.1, can be expected to cause more serious symptoms than the current dominant form of Omicron.

“BJ.1 has more mutations to the spike protein than subvariants of the dominant BA.5, but the importance of these mutations is not known for certain,” Heunicke wrote.

The most recent infection trends report, issued last week by the State Serum Institute, stated that infection numbers in people aged 60 and over had increased during the preceding week. Infection numbers have been otherwise stable in all age groups in recent weeks.

Denmark currently only recommends a PCR test for Covid-19 for people at risk of serious illness who suspect they have the virus.

Last week’s infection trends report noted that BJ.1 was yet to be detected in Denmark.

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