Covid-19: Danish inpatient total continues increase but ICUs stable

The number of patients in Danish hospitals who have Covid-19 continued an upward trend on Thursday but the number in intensive care units remained stable.

Covid-19 test samples in Denmark
Covid-19 test samples in Denmark. The number of hospital patients with a positive Covid test is increasing, but the number of critical patients with the virus remains at a low and stable level. File photo: Ólafur Steinar Rye Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

Thursday’s daily update from the national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI) show that 1,354 people currently admitted to hospitals in Denmark have a positive Covid-19 test. That is 17 more than on Wednesday.

The number has increased every day since January 30th with one exception, on February 5th. It stood at 948 on the penultimate day of last month.

However, a considerable proportion of those patients are not admitted because of Covid-19. They are receiving treatment for other reasons but have also returned a positive Covid-19 test. The figure of 1,354 includes 329 patients at psychiatric departments.

33 Covid-19 patients are currently admitted to intensive care units, with 12 of them receiving ventilator treatment. Those numbers are five and four fewer than on Wednesday, respectively, and are roughly on par with the number of ICU and ventilator patients seen throughout recent weeks.

They are also lower than at the beginning of 2022, when around 80 Covid-19 patients were in ICU care.

An additional 53,747 new cases of Covid-19 were registered by SSI on Thursday from 172,183 PCR tests, giving a test positivity rate of 31 percent.

Testing in high numbers is less helpful than it may have been in the past given the free spread of the milder Omicron variant since national Covid restrictions were lifted, according to an expert.

“We will soon have to stop testing so many people. It does not give any information. It made sense earlier in the pandemic but the money can now be better spent,” Christian Wamberg, chief physician at the intensive care unit at Bispebjerg Hospital, told news wire Ritzau.

“We can test the people who come into hospital with symptoms and are sick. But it is otherwise silly to keep mass-testing the population,” he said.

READ ALSO: Are any Covid-19 rules still in force in Denmark?

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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.