Covid-19: Denmark cuts PCR test capacity by 60 percent

Denmark has downgraded the national capacity for daily Covid-19 PCR testing with case numbers declining, the national Agency for Critical Supplies (Styrelsen for Forsyningssikkerhed) said on Monday.

People queue for Covid-19 testing in Denmark in April 2021.
People queue for Covid-19 testing in Denmark in April 2021. The country has downgraded its capacity to the lowest level under the national model. Photo: Tim Barsoe/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

A lower demand for PCR tests is the reason for the downscaling of test capacity, the agency said. The capacity is now at the fifth and lowest level of authorities’ graded model for supplying Covid-19 testing.

The week commencing March 29th saw an average of around 15,000 tests administered daily. Official data shows that 2,080 new cases of Covid-19 were registered on Sunday among 12,508 PCR tests, giving a test positivity rate of around 17 percent. Generally, testing levels are now a fraction of those seen earlier in the pandemic.

The total capacity was on Monday adjusted from 100,000 tests per day to 40,000 tests per day.

“In conjunction with the downgrading of test capacity, the number of test centres and opening times will be revised,” the agency said.

“PCR testing in the health sector, which is used for inpatients or staff in the health system, will be unaffected,” it added.

Test capacity will remain at level five until the government presents a new testing strategy for the rest of 2022 along with next winter, the critical supplies authority also said.

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.

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Covid-19: Denmark halves test capacity due to low infection numbers

Denmark is to cut its Covid-19 testing capacity due to low demand at municipal PCR test centres.

Covid-19: Denmark halves test capacity due to low infection numbers

The daily number of PCR tests at local centres will therefore be reduced from 40,000 to 20,000, the Agency for Critical Supplies (Styrelsen for Forsyningssikkerhed) confirmed in a statement on Monday.

Some test centres are expected to close due to the reduced operations.

“The downscaling is expected to result in a further reduction in the number of test locations, while opening times will be adjusted in the country’s test centres,” the agency said in the statement.

“These adjustments will take place on an ongoing basis,” it added.

Recent months have seen Covid-19 infections receding in Denmark after the winter wave, which was driven by the Omicron variant of the virus.

Health authorities have credited a high level of immunity in the community, due to previous infections, and a high vaccination rate including booster vaccinations, in reducing the spread of the coronavirus throughout the spring.

Covid-19 is also known to be transmitted less during warmer seasons.

The lower number of cases is linked to the reduced demand for testing in Denmark. Last week saw an average of around 5,000 tests administered daily.

The government is expected later this year to present a Covid-19 testing strategy for late 2022 and next winter.

Denmark lifted the majority of its Covid-19 restrictions in February, with final travel restrictions ending in March.

Health authorities now only recommend taking a PCR test for Covid-19 if you have symptoms and are at risk of serious illness should you contract the virus.

Testing is no longer recommended for close contacts of people who have the virus or are suspected to have it.

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