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: Virus remains on downward trend in Denmark in latest report

The number of Covid-19 infections in Denmark is still declining, as has been the trend for some weeks.

Covid-19: Virus remains on downward trend in Denmark in latest report

In addition to confirmed cases, the number of PCR tests administered to check for the virus is also falling. Authorities recently announced that PCR testing capacity would be halved, before a strategy for testing next winter is announced later this year.

The continued falloff in cases was one of the trends noted in a new report from the infectious disease agency, State Serum Institute (SSI). The report is based on data from the most recent week.

During the period covered by the report, the number of new cases of Covid-19 fell by 18 percent, meaning 82 in 100,000 residents of Denmark tested positive for Covid-19.

The number of PCR tests fell by 14 percent during the same period, with around 7,000 tests administered each day.

“Transmission in the community is falling in general and across all age groups,” SSI medical head of department Rebecca Legarth told news wire Ritzau.

The decline in number of new recorded cases may be linked to the reduction in recorded number of hospital patients with a positive Covid test.

Last week saw the number of hospitalised people with Covid-19 fall by 23 percent. Not all people in hospital who have the virus are being treated for it, with their hospitalisation being for other reasons in many cases.

Denmark ended its Covid-19 restrictions in February and March, while health authorities also changed recommendations on when a PCR test should be taken.

In March, the Danish Health Authority changed its recommendations on when people with suspected Covid-19 should be tested for the coronavirus, with testing now only recommended if there is a “special medical reason” for doing so.