Covid-19: Denmark tops 50,000 cases in a day for first time

Over 50,000 new cases of Covid-19 were registered by Denmark’s health authorities on Thursday, the first time during the pandemic the daily figure has exceeded the round number. The number of ICU patients with the virus meanwhile continues to decrease.

A file photo of a Covid-19 test centre in Denmark, where over 50,000 new cases were registered on January 27th 2022.
A file photo of a Covid-19 test centre in Denmark, where over 50,000 new cases were registered on January 27th 2022. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

National agency State Serum Institute’s daily update shows 51,033 new cases on Thursday, of which 3,119 are in people who have previously tested positive for Covid-19.

The test positivity rate was 21.86 percent, with 233,419 PCR tests having been administered.

Infection rates are particularly high amongst children and young people, according to SSI.

In 12-15 year-olds, the incidence last week reached 11,194 cases per 100,000 people. That compares with an overall national incidence of 4,572 per 100,000 residents.

Hospitals in Denmark have 955 inpatients with Covid-19 on Thursday, 17 more than the previous day. However, that number includes a large number of patients who have tested positive for the virus but are receiving hospital treatment for other reasons.

Although the number of patients with Covid-19 in hospitals now matches the figure from the peak of last year’s winter Covid-19 wave, hospitals are not strained and would be able to cope if the number increases, Kasper Karmark Iversen, senior medical consultant and professor at the University of Copenhagen and Herlev-Gentofte Hospital, told news wire Ritzau.

“The hospitals are ready. We are not severely strained by inpatients with Omicron. And we also think that people will not get severely ill if they are hospitalised with Omicron,” Iversen said.

“Of course we have a few (patients) who are admitted for all sorts of other reasons who have Omicron and must be isolated. And we also have staff (who are sick). And that’s what puts us under a bit of strain,” he said.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen yesterday announced the end of domestic Covid-19 restrictions and the categorisation of Covid-19 as a critical threat to society from next week.

That will cause a further increase in the number of hospital patients with the virus, Iversen said.

“But we have also come far in relation to some kind of community immunity, which itself will mean that the curve begins to flatten before terribly long,” he said.

“I think it will turn within the next two weeks, until then we can expect an increase which will probably slow down,” he said.

There are currently 37 Covid-19 patients in Denmark admitted to intensive care units. 22 of them are receiving ventilator treatment.

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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.