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COVID-19 STATS

Covid-19: New Danish data indicate subsiding summer wave

A recent increase in the number of Covid-19 infections in Denmark appears to be declining, according to new data issued on Tuesday.

Covid-19: New Danish data indicate subsiding summer wave
A file photo of Danish Covid-19 test samples. Photo: Ólafur Steinar Rye Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix

The reproduction rate or R-number for the coronavirus is now estimated to be 0.8. A value less than 1.0 indicates a declining epidemic.

The last two weeks have seen the figure estimated at 1.1 and 1.0 as the new BA. 5 subvariant of the Omicron Covid variant became dominant in Denmark.

Health Minister Magnus Heunicke confirmed the updated number in a social media post and added that samples from sewage water also indicate the virus is now retreating.

“This fits with the picture we are seeing in other countries that have had a wave with BA. 5,” Heunicke wrote.

The observation of the trend in Denmark remains “uncertain” for the time being, he also noted.

University of Copenhagen Professor of Virology Allan Randrup Thomsen called the weekly number “very positive”.

“It seems as though [the subvariant growth] has stabilised,” Thomsen said.

“We’ve been unsure about how it was going with this summer wave and how high it will go,” he said.

People in Denmark can “generally relax and enjoy the summer,” he said.

“But I would still recommend those in vulnerable groups to accept the offer of an extra vaccine booster,” he added.

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COVID-19 STATS

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.

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