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: New Danish data indicate subsiding summer wave

A recent increase in the number of Covid-19 infections in Denmark appears to be declining, according to new data issued on Tuesday.

Covid-19: New Danish data indicate subsiding summer wave

The reproduction rate or R-number for the coronavirus is now estimated to be 0.8. A value less than 1.0 indicates a declining epidemic.

The last two weeks have seen the figure estimated at 1.1 and 1.0 as the new BA. 5 subvariant of the Omicron Covid variant became dominant in Denmark.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke confirmed the updated number in a social media post and added that samples from sewage water also indicate the virus is now retreating.

“This fits with the picture we are seeing in other countries that have had a wave with BA. 5,” Heunicke wrote.

The observation of the trend in Denmark remains “uncertain” for the time being, he also noted.

University of Copenhagen Professor of Virology Allan Randrup Thomsen called the weekly number “very positive”.

“It seems as though [the subvariant growth] has stabilised,” Thomsen said.

“We’ve been unsure about how it was going with this summer wave and how high it will go,” he said.

People in Denmark can “generally relax and enjoy the summer,” he said.

“But I would still recommend those in vulnerable groups to accept the offer of an extra vaccine booster,” he added.