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COVID-19

Denmark has world’s highest Covid-19 infection rate

Denmark on Monday again reported record daily coronavirus cases and now has the highest recorded incidence of the virus in the world.

People queue for Covid-19 tests in Køge in November 2021. Denmark currently has the world's highest recorded incidence for the coronavirus.
People queue for Covid-19 tests in Køge in November 2021. Denmark currently has the world's highest recorded incidence for the coronavirus. Photo: Claus Bech/Ritzau Scanpix

Monday’s daily infection total was the highest in Denmark throughout the pandemic as the Omicron variant continues to make its mark on the data, having last week become the dominant form of the virus in the country.

The figure exceeded 15,000 for the first time, with health authorities registering 16,164 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours. The 16,164 positive results came from 130,686 PCR tests, giving a remarkably high positivity rate of 12.4 percent.

With its population of 5.8 million, Denmark now has the world’s highest infection rate with 1,612 cases per 100,000 people. 

The five countries with the highest case rates over the last seven days were all European, according to statistics compiled by news wire AFP and drawn from official sources.

The numbers, taken from statistics bureau Our World in Data on December 27th, place Denmark as the country with the highest incidence of the virus.

It should be noted that there is a large variation in the amount of testing undertaken by different countries, with Denmark among the countries that tests the most per resident.

Other metrics show Denmark in a more favourable light.

These include the number of people hospitalised with the coronavirus. 608 people or 105 per one million residents are currently admitted to Danish hospitals with the virus.

The latter figure is significantly lower than in a number of other European countries. In Bulgaria, Poland and Hungary it is over 600, while the figure for France is 250 hospital Covid-19 patients per one million residents.

Neighbouring Sweden and Norway had 51 and 65 hospital patients with Covid-19 respectively in figures dating from just before Christmas, though Sweden’s hospitalisation figures have since spiked markedly.

The week before Christmas saw Denmark register 21 deaths with Covid-19 per million inhabitants. Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Croatia posted figures up to 4-5 times higher, though it should be noted that different countries have different criteria for the data.

The Omicron variant has once again turned Europe into a global hotspot for the virus in recent weeks.

READ ALSO: Travellers returning to Denmark after Christmas must take Covid-19 test

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COVID-19

Covid-19 medicine Paxlovid now available in Denmark

Denmark has received its first supply of Paxlovid, an antiviral treatment for Covid-19.

Covid-19 medicine Paxlovid now available in Denmark

A first stock of Paxlovid, a tablet which can be described by doctors to combat Covid-19 symptoms, has been delivered to Denmark, health authorities confirmed in a statement.

“The first delivery has arrived today and the rest will be delivered continuously during the coming period,” the Danish Health Authority said.

Denmark has purchased 40,000 treatment courses of the medicine.

Doctors decide when to prescribe the medicine, which is suitable for adults infected with Covid-19 who are at risk of serious illness with Covid-19. It is taken over a course of five days when symptoms are still mild.

“Treatment with Paxlovid is for the patients who are at greatest risk of serious illness with Covid-19 and the treatment will be an important part of the future management of Covid-19,” the Health Authority said in the statement.

The arrival of a medicine for Covid-19 does not signal the end of vaccination which remains “the most effective measure to prevent serious illness and death,” it said.

Denmark has purchased the Paxlovid supply through a deal with pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

The infectious disease control agency State Serum Institute (SSI) has 2.2 million Covid-19 vaccines which have been in storage for so long that they are no longer usable, news wire Ritzau earlier reported.

The vaccines were purchased when Denmark was acquiring as many as possible during the pandemic but because they are not effective against newer variants of the coronavirus, they can no longer be used.

Another 3.6 million doses in storage at SSI can only be used for the initial two doses for as-yet unvaccinated people – who are now limited in number given Denmark’s high vaccine uptake. This means they are unusable in the current booster programme.

The cost of the 5.8 million vaccines is estimated at between 116 and 783 million kroner.

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