Denmark hits Covid-19 milestone with one million infections since start of pandemic

Almost two years since the first case of Covid-19 was detected in Denmark, the country has now registered over one million cases of the coronavirus.

Copenhagen amusement park Tivoli closed in April 2020, as it is at the time of writing in 2022, due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Copenhagen amusement park Tivoli closed in April 2020, as it is at the time of writing in 2022, due to Covid-19 restrictions. Photo: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix

In total, 1,000,009 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Denmark since the beginning of the global pandemic. The Nordic country has a population of just over 5,800,000.

The milestone could be seen as the country’s infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI) updated its daily total for new infections on Wednesday.

If repeat infections are included (when a person has had Covid twice or more), the total count is 1,030,638.

Infections remain at a high rate in early January 2022, with 24,343 new cases recorded on Wednesday.

The highest number of infections in a day throughout the pandemic was 28,283, registered on January 5th this year.

SSI and the Danish Health Authority reported the country’s first case of the coronavirus February 27th 2020.

“We must expect to see more cases in the coming days and weeks,” the health authority said in a statement at the time.

A national lockdown was announced by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen within weeks, on March 11th 2020, and the country went through a second lockdown during the following winter and has experienced long periods with varying forms of restrictions.

Over 56 million PCR tests and 57 million antigen tests for Covid-19 have been conducted since January 2020, according to SSI data.

3,433 people in Denmark have lost their lives due to Covid-19.

Millions of doses of Covid-19 vaccines have meanwhile been administered since December 2020, when the Danish vaccination programme commenced.

Pandemic researcher Professor Lone Simonsen of Roskilde University told broadcaster DR on Tuesday that the current wave of the virus, driven by the Omicron variant, could be the last phase in which Covid-19 infections constitute a pandemic.

“We will now have an almighty wave of Omicron, which will trickle down in February or March. After that the spring and summer will come when we are used to things going much better with the virus,” Simonsen said.

“After that it will be autumn and at that point I think we will be finished with the pandemic phase,” she said.

READ ALSO: What changes could Denmark make to Covid-19 restrictions by end of January?

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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.