Covid-19: Denmark scales down PCR test capacity as cases decline

Danish authorities are to reduce the country’s capacity for administering PCR tests for Covid-19.

Queues for Covid-19 testing in Denmark
Queues for Covid-19 testing in Denmark have become less common since the country scrapped coronavirus restrictions. Photo: Keld Navntoft/Ritzau Scanpix

The Danish Critical Supply Agency (Styrelsen for Forsyningssikkerhed) confirmed the decision on Monday, citing a decline in demand for tests after the winter wave of Covid-19 infections, driven by the Omicron variant of the virus, reached its peak.

Denmark lifted Covid-19 restrictions at the beginning of February. One consequence of this is a lower demand for testing.

Last week saw fewer than 100,000 PCR tests on average conducted daily.

A gradual scaling-down of capacity will be initiated, the agency said.

“We are already seeing that transmissions are beginning to fall in the areas that previously had the most infections. We expect that trend to continue as a result of inceasing immunity and seasonal effect,” said the director of the infectious disease State Serum Institute (SSI), Henrik Ullum.

“There will therefore probably be a need for fewer tests in the spring,” he said.

READ ALSO: Covid-19: Infections trend downwards in all Danish regions

PCR test capacity will be initially reduced from 200,000 tests to 140,000 tests per day nationally, the supplies agency said. Further downscaling can occur in line with any fall in the number of tests administered, depending on demand.

All of Denmark’s rapid antigen Covid-19 test centres are meanwhile to close by March 6th.

The rapid test centres, which have been phased out throughout February with more emphasis placed on home testing, will be decommissioned completely in the first week of next month.

Monday saw 16,578 new cases of Covid-19 confirmed in SSI’s daily update, with 56,419 PCR testes conducted. That gives a test positivity rate of 29 percent.

The figure is the second-lowest daily total for new cases in February, with only the 16,454 registered the preceding day being lower during the month.

READ ALSO: Denmark to close Covid-19 rapid test centres by March

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Covid-19: Denmark to further reduce PCR testing capacity

The number of daily PCR tests for Covid-19 available in Denmark is to be reduced to 10,000 from August 15th.

Covid-19: Denmark to further reduce PCR testing capacity

A decline in demand for PCR testing for Covid-19 is behind health authorities’ decision to further reduce capacity from 20,000 to 10,000 tests per day.

The Agency for Critical Supplies (Styrelsen for Forsyningssikkerhed) confirmed the change in a statement on Friday.

The reduction is part of the government’s Covid-19 testing strategy for the rest of 2022 and the first three months of 2023.

Last week saw the average number of PCR tests administered daily reached just 4,900.

Testing capacity can be ramped up again should case numbers go up after August 15th, the critical supplies agency said.

From August 15th, all tasks related to the national Covid-19 testing programme come under the auspices of the Ministry of Health.

The Danish Health Authority said on its website that it expects the coronavirus to become a seasonal infection similar to influenza.

“We must expect many to be infected with Covid-19 during the autumn and winter,” the authority writes.