Denmark changes rules for Covid-19 contact tracing

Denmark has changed its procedure for Covid-19 contact tracing, allowing people who test positive for the virus to provide details online instead of over the phone.

Denmark has moved some of its Covid-19 contact tracing online amid record infection rates.
Denmark has moved some of its Covid-19 contact tracing online amid record infection rates. File photo:Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish Patient Safety Authority confirmed in a statement that contact tracing information can now be provided on the platform. This requires users to login using the NemID or MitID secure digital ID system.

In addition, close contacts to confirmed cases can be given priority for PCR tests – allowing them to skip waiting times for testing – without speaking to contact tracer over the phone.

Recent record high infection rates in Denmark have resulted in strain on the contact tracing system and long telephone queues for close contacts and people who have tested positive for the virus.

As such, it is hoped that the change in tracing procedures will ease some of the pressure on the contact tracing system.

“We are introducing this solution because members of the public are experiencing long waiting times on the telephone and would rather (submit information) themselves. We also have members of the public who are well informed and can help with contact tracing,” Danish Patient Safety Authority deputy director Birgitte Drewes said.

“We also need to use our resources correctly and prioritise members of the public who need extra help and guidance,” she added.

“You can also expect us to call in future even if you have submitted information, but we won’t be calling 15 times,” she added.

After receiving a positive test result, it will be possible to enter details – such as information relating to the place of infection – via the platform.

Infected persons will be able to provide a test ID to close contacts which will allow them to book higher priority tests on the website, which must be used to book PCR tests.

The new online systems are expected to become available this week.

Telephone assistance will still be available for people who can or do not want to use the online version.

READ ALSO: Appointments needed for all PCR tests in Denmark

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Denmark’s autumn Covid-19 strategy to be presented ‘before summer’

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Monday that the government will soon present a strategy for managing Covid-19 should the virus resurge in Denmark next autumn and winter.

Denmark’s autumn Covid-19 strategy to be presented 'before summer'

Although everyday life in Denmark is now free of any signs of Covid-19 restrictions, a plan will be put in place to manage a potential increase in cases of the virus once colder months return, Frederiksen said during remarks in parliament.

During a speech given as part of the parliament’s closing session before its summer break, Frederiksen noted that the coronavirus still persists in other countries and that Denmark must therefore have its own plan in place for future management of outbreaks.

“The government will therefore, before the summer (holiday), present a strategy for ongoing Covid management. We will discuss it with the other parties in parliament,” she said.

Frederiksen also said that Denmark was among the countries to have coped best with the pandemic.

“We are one of the countries that have had the lowest excess deaths. And one of the countries that has emerged best from the crisis economically. That is thanks to the efforts of each individual citizen in the country,” she said.

A new wave of Covid-19 cases later this year can be expected, according to a Danish medical expert.

“As things look now, we can reasonably hope that the thoroughly vaccinated population will be well protected against serious cases and that we will therefore see few hospitalisations,” Henrik Nielsen, senior medical consultant at Aalborg University’s infectious disease department, told news wire Ritzau.

“But the number of infections could very easily be high in the autumn and winter with a respiratory virus that gives a few days’ sickness. We expected serious cases to be limited in number,” he said.