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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Wednesday

Cherry blossom in Copenhagen, Easter weather forecast and the latest on the Danish housing market are among the main news stories from Denmark on Wednesday.

cherry blossom in copenhagen
Cherry blossom at Bispebjerg Cemetery in Copenhagen on April 12th. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Cherry blossom in bloom in Copenhagen 

If you want to take advantage of the brief interlude in which cherry blossom heralds spring by blossoming forth, now is the time to do it.

Cherry blossom is currently in bloom at Bispebjerg Kirkegård (Cemetery) in Copenhagen, probably Denmark’s most famous sport for viewing the light violet blossom.

Flowering trees were photographed at the location yesterday, so now is the time to go out and get a glimpse. Don’t be surprised if you’re one of many visitors.

Housing market still hot despite high prices and uncertain economic climate

The first quarter of this year saw a large number of houses sold in Denmark, according to new figures released by real estate site Boligsiden.

22,584 houses were sold from January to March, the second-highest quarterly total going back to 2011. The only bigger-selling quarter was Q1 in 2021.

Boligsiden’s head of communications Birgit Daetz told broadcaster DR that the figure is remarkable given increasing interest rates, which make it more expensive to buy property. The war in Ukraine meanwhile adds uncertainty to any economic outlook, she noted.

Weather: Wednesday could be warmest day so far in 2022

Warm air from the south is streaming towards Denmark, pushing thermometers up a few notches and helping it to finally feel like spring in time for the Easter holidays.

Morning temperatures of 5 degrees Celsius this morning could push up towards 12-17 degrees later today, with 18-19 degrees possible locally according to DR. Southeast-facing coasts will feel chillier.

Although Wednesday is likely to be the warmest of the upcoming days, the mild air will remain during the upcoming Easter holidays, with temperatures in the double figures although cloudy skies are likely.

Covid-19: 2,683 new cases on Tuesday

Official data shows that 2,683 new cases of Covid-19 were registered yesterday, an increase compared to the 1,805 cases registered on Monday.

More PCR tests were administered compared to the preceding 24 hours, however. The positive cases were found among 17,672 PCR tests, giving a test positivity rate of just over 15 percent, a little lower than on Monday and similar to the proportion of positive tests seen in general this month.

Testing levels are now a fraction of those seen earlier in the pandemic, while daily case numbers peaked in February when up to 55,000 new cases were registered on a number of days.

886 people with Covid-19 are currently admitted to hospitals in Denmark. This total is on a downward trend, having reached over 1,500 in early March. A large proportion of the patients are not receiving treatment for the coronavirus and are in hospital for other reasons.

17 people with Covid-19 are currently in ICU care and 7 are receiving ventilator treatment.

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TODAY IN DENMARK

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Murder at a luxury Copenhagen hotel, changes to laws on Ukrainian refugees, and new Covid surveillance strategies are among the top news stories in Denmark this Thursday.

Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Thursday

Danish government wants to make Ukrainian refugee “start date” more flexible 

As the law currently stands, Ukrainians who happened to have left their home country — perhaps for vacation or business — just before war broke out could have trouble gaining residence in Denmark. 

The Danish government have announced plans to change the ‘cut-off date’ for when people must have left Ukraine to be considered war refugees from February 24th to February 1st. 

Parliament will consider the amendment to the current “Ukrainian law,” which grants two years’ residence to refugees who meet certain stipulations, including when they fled the country. 

READ ALSO: Denmark plans ‘Ukraine towns’ to accommodate war refugees 

Without widespread testing, how will Denmark predict next Covid wave? 

With Denmark’s once-wide network of public Covid test sites nearly gone, the State Serum Institute — Denmark’s infectious disease agency — is piloting a new program that it hopes will detect upticks in infections.

Ten thousand blood donors and the members of their households will be randomly chosen to participate in the “PCR Home Test Study,” the SSI says. Those who agree to participate will receive test kits from the government and will be asked to self-test once a week for a month, registering each sample in TestCenter Denmark’s app and sending it to the SSI for processing. 

If a new wave is detected, the SSI will consider recommending boosters for groups at high risk, director Henrik Ullum told Danish newswire Ritzau. 

If the program is successful, it could be deployed to monitor other respiratory viruses, such as the flu, Ullum added. 

READ ALSO: Which Covid self-tests should you buy (and avoid) in Denmark? 

Danish man pleads guilty to bow and arrow attack in Norway 

Espen Andersen Brathen the 38-year-old Danish man accused of using a bow and arrow outside a supermarket and stabbing five to death with a knife in the Norwegian town of Kongsberg last October, pleaded guilty to all charges yesterday. 

Although the attack was initially thought to be an act of terrorism, three experts who observed him assessed that Brathen was experiencing paranoid schizophrenia, newswire Agence France-Presse reports. Both the prosecution and defense agree that a psychiatric commitment, rather than a prison sentence, is appropriate. 

Murder at luxury Copenhagen hotel 

The NH Collection on Strandgade — home to the “Feel Safe at NH” campaign during the Covid pandemic — was the site of what authorities describe as a brutal murder on Sunday.  

A 28-year-old man suffered head injuries in a room in the NH Collection, where rooms start at 3000 kroner a night, and died of his injuries Monday evening. Police have one man, a 20-year-old, in custody for the crime and are seeking a 24-year-old Dutch citizen as an alleged accomplice. 

Authorities also suspect the 20-year-old currently in custody in another crime three hours after the incident on Strandgade — a gruesome knife attack at an “apartment hotel” in Silkegade. According to charges read at a preliminary hearing in court yesterday, the second victim was stabbed repeatedly, his cheek was ripped open, and an ear was cut off. 

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