Covid-19: Danish weekly infection total up by 50 percent

Covid-19 infections are now increasing in all parts of Denmark, with total weekly number of infections up by 53 percent.

A file photo of a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Denmark.
A file photo of a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Denmark. The country is seeing a summer wave of infections driven by the BA 5 subvariant of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

The week commencing June 6th saw 5,830 new cases of Covid-19 registered by authorities, compared to 3,805 the preceding week. As such, the overall number of cases remains low.

The increase in case numbers is however accompanied by an increase in the test positivity rate – the percentage of tests that return a positive result – nationally, in all regions and all age groups.

The latest infection data comes from national disease control agency State Serum Institute (SSI).

The number of administered PCR tests also increased by 11 percent between the two weeks.

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.

“Prevalence of infections is increasingly strongly in all age groups,” the SSI report states.

The rising infection numbers are not a cause for immediate concern, according to Allan Randrup Thomsen, professor in experimental virology at the University of Copenhagen.

“Even though we’ve seen that the virus can spread, even in warm weather, it looks as though the increase is less than if it had occurred during the winter. There is probably a restricting effect because of the season,” Thomsen told news wire Ritzau.

A new subvariant of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, BA. 5, is expected to become the dominant form of the coronavirus this summer. The subvariant comprises a large number of new cases.

SSI has previously stated there are no indications that BA. 5 is more serious than the original Omicron variant.

The number of people admitted to hospitals in Denmark who have Covid-19 has also increased. A total of 220 inpatients with Covid last week represents a 23 percent increase. The patients are not necessarily being treated for the coronavirus and may have been admitted for other reasons.

The number of ICU patients with Covid-19 remains stable, as does the number of deaths registered of people with the virus.

Thomsen said he does not expected a large number of people to become seriously ill due to the climbing infection numbers.

“Even though the vaccines do not work effectively against becoming infected, they appear to still work against serious illness. I therefore see this as a wave, but not a marked, large outbreak that we will see during the summer,” he said.

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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.