Denmark registers 23,000 new Covid-19 cases in one day

Denmark recorded 23,228 new cases of Covid-19 in its latest daily totals on Wednesday, breaking the previous record set on Monday by over 7,000.

People queue for Covid-19 tests in Denmark in December 2021. The country registered over 23,000 new cases on December 29th.
People queue for Covid-19 tests in Denmark in December 2021. The country registered over 23,000 new cases on December 29th.Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

The figure eclipses the previous record of 16,164, which was set on Monday.

In capital Copenhagen, the seven-day incidence for the virus is 2,465 per 100,000 residents.

Even before the towering figures posted on Wednesday, Denmark was this week to be reported to have the highest reported Covid-19 infection rates in the world.

“The high infection rate today (Wednesday) can be attributed to a higher PCR test activity just after Christmas,” the national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI) said in a statement as it issued the latest numbers.

The 23,228 new cases were found amongst 189,512 PCR tests, giving a positivity rate of 12.26 percent. That is considerably higher than earlier in the pandemic but in line with data from Monday and Tuesday this week.

High demand means that authorities are currently giving priority for PCR tests to people with symptoms of the virus or who are close contacts to confirmed cases.

An expert said in response to Wednesday’s figures that “we should all expect to be infected (in Denmark)”.

“When infection numbers are so high, that reflects widespread community transmission,” Henrik Nielsen, professor and senior medical consultant at Aalborg University Hospital’s infectious diseases department, told news wire Ritzau.

“In my view, that means we should all expect to be infected,” Nielsen said.

The total number of persons in hospital with Covid-19 increased by 9 on Wednesday and is now 675. The peak number of admitted patients from the winter 2020 wave reached 964 on January 4th this year, amid far lower infection numbers.

At that time, only a very low percentage of the population had been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“We find a little bit of hope in hospitals not seeing a parallel increase in hospitalisations. But we are starting to get to the level where it begins to hurt,” Nielsen said.

“When you look at the total of admitted patients with and without the vaccine respectively, the risk (of hospitalisation) is five times higher if you don’t have the vaccine,” the senior medical consultant added.

READ ALSO: What are Denmark’s Covid-19 rules for New Year’s Eve?

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Covid-19: Danish case numbers fall by almost one fifth

Fewer new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Denmark, with last week’s total 19 percent reduced compared to the week before.

Covid-19: Danish case numbers fall by almost one fifth

The latest report from the State Serum Institute (SSI), the Danish infectious disease agency, states 10,777 new cases were detected in the week commencing July 25th, equivalent to 183 cases per 100,000 residents.

The number of PCR tests administered also decreased 15 percent compared to the preceding week, however.

Declining viral loads in the wastewater system also suggest there’s a lower burden of infection in the country, according to SSI.

In the same period, new Covid-positive hospital admissions fell nearly a quarter, with a significant decline in the elderly population. 

There was also a significantly lower prevalence of infections among care home residents and social care sector staff, SSI states.

Last month, age concern charity Ældre Sagen called for the Danish Health Authority to bring forward planned booster vaccinations to care home residents after a 29 percent increase in new hospital admissions with the virus, with 60-89 year-olds particularly affected.

Booster vaccinations will be offered to everyone aged 50 and over this autumn.

READ ALSO: Who is eligible for a fourth Covid vaccine dose in Denmark and when?

60 deaths among people who were infected with Covid-19 occurred last week, 10 more than the preceding week.

“But this is not a sign of excess deaths in the population in general,” SSI says in the report.

Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is still responsible for the lion’s share of Covid cases in Denmark, accounting for 92 percent of positive results in the week of July 18th. 

“There is no sign of concerning spread of other subvariants,” SSI writes.