Covid-19: Infection numbers in Denmark up for first time since February

The number of new Covid-19 infections in Denmark has increased for the first time since mid-February.

File photo of Covid-19 testing in Denmark.
File photo of Covid-19 testing in Denmark. Cases are up for the first time since February. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

An increase in recorded cases of around 16 percent, from 3,290 cases to 3,805 cases, was recorded in the two most recent weeks, disease control agency State Serum Institute (SSI) said on Thursday.

The number of tests administered did not significantly change, giving an increase in the test positivity rate from 10.4 percent to 12.1 percent.

A new subvariant of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, BA. 5, is expected to become the dominant form of the coronavirus this summer.

“This means that we can expect to see further increases in cases in the coming period,” SSI medical director Tyra Grove Krause said in a statement.

“However, there are no indications that either BA. 2.12.1 or BA. 5 are more serious than the original Omicron variant,” Krause said.

BA. 2.12.1 is another Omicron subvariant currently spreading in Denmark.

The two subvariants comprised around 30 percent of new cases in the most recently recorded week, compared to less than four percent three weeks earlier.

The dominant variant – BA. 2 – has meanwhile fallen from 60.9 percent to 41.3 percent of all cases.

SSI said it was working on a new risk assessment for the emerging variants and was “following the situation closely”.

No increase in hospitalisation figures related to Covid-19 has been recorded in recent weeks, despite rising case numbers.

The number of hospital patients with Covid-19 fell by 11 percent to 179 last week, SSI said.

The government is expected to present a Covid-19 testing strategy for winter 2022-23 later in the summer.

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.

READ ALSO: Denmark says Covid-19 testing now only needed for ‘special medical reasons’

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Covid-19: Danish authorities ’not concerned’ after new subvariant detected

A new subvariant of Covid-19 has been detected in Denmark. Health authorities say they are monitoring the situation.

Covid-19: Danish authorities ’not concerned’ after new subvariant detected

The new variant was first detected in India around three months ago and has now been detected in Denmark for the first time with two confirmed cases, news wire Ritzau reports.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke confirmed the variant had been found in Denmark in a Twitter post on Saturday.

The variant, BJ.1, is a subvariant of the existing Omicron form of the coronavirus and was first registered in India on July 2nd. It has since been detected in four other countries.

“Two cases of the new Covid-19 subvariant BJ.1 have been found in Denmark,” Heunicke wrote.

“It is completely expected that BJ.1 would appear in Denmark and the State Serum Institute [national infectious disease control agency, ed.] is not currently concerned but is following the situation closely,” he said.

It is currently unclear whether BJ.1, also termed BA.2.10.1, can be expected to cause more serious symptoms than the current dominant form of Omicron.

“BJ.1 has more mutations to the spike protein than subvariants of the dominant BA.5, but the importance of these mutations is not known for certain,” Heunicke wrote.

The most recent infection trends report, issued last week by the State Serum Institute, stated that infection numbers in people aged 60 and over had increased during the preceding week. Infection numbers have been otherwise stable in all age groups in recent weeks.

Denmark currently only recommends a PCR test for Covid-19 for people at risk of serious illness who suspect they have the virus.

Last week’s infection trends report noted that BJ.1 was yet to be detected in Denmark.