Covid-19: Danish case numbers fall by almost one fifth

Fewer new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Denmark, with last week’s total 19 percent reduced compared to the week before.

Covid-19: Danish case numbers fall by almost one fifth
Covid-19 cases in Denmark are currently declining, according to the national infectious disease agency. Photo: Bo Amstrup/Ritzau Scanpix

The latest report from the State Serum Institute (SSI), the Danish infectious disease agency, states 10,777 new cases were detected in the week commencing July 25th, equivalent to 183 cases per 100,000 residents.

The number of PCR tests administered also decreased 15 percent compared to the preceding week, however.

Declining viral loads in the wastewater system also suggest there’s a lower burden of infection in the country, according to SSI.

In the same period, new Covid-positive hospital admissions fell nearly a quarter, with a significant decline in the elderly population. 

There was also a significantly lower prevalence of infections among care home residents and social care sector staff, SSI states.

Last month, age concern charity Ældre Sagen called for the Danish Health Authority to bring forward planned booster vaccinations to care home residents after a 29 percent increase in new hospital admissions with the virus, with 60-89 year-olds particularly affected.

Booster vaccinations will be offered to everyone aged 50 and over this autumn.

READ ALSO: Who is eligible for a fourth Covid vaccine dose in Denmark and when?

60 deaths among people who were infected with Covid-19 occurred last week, 10 more than the preceding week.

“But this is not a sign of excess deaths in the population in general,” SSI says in the report.

Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is still responsible for the lion’s share of Covid cases in Denmark, accounting for 92 percent of positive results in the week of July 18th. 

“There is no sign of concerning spread of other subvariants,” SSI writes.

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Danish hospitals see big rise in number of Covid patients

While intensive care rates remain steady, there's a "continued increase" of Covid infection and hospitalisation among nursing home residents and the elderly in Denmark, according to infectious disease agency the State Serum Institute.

Danish hospitals see big rise in number of Covid patients

New admissions of patients with Covid-19 rose 29 percent in Danish hospitals between the last week of June (589 new admissions) and the first week of July (761 new admissions), the SSI said.

The bulk of the patients currently hospitalised with Covid are ages 60-89, the SSI’s weekly report says. 

While the SSI judges that there are “overall signs of a stabilisation” in general infection rates, monitoring of wastewater indicates the concentration of Covid is actually on the rise. (Denmark greatly reduced its public testing and surveillance programs, which had been considered among the most extensive in the world, this spring.) 

Fourth shots for nursing home residents? 

Ældre Sagen, a non-profit association that advocates for the needs of the elderly (and sister organisation to the AARP in the United States), has called on the National Board of Health to offer additional boosters to nursing home residents. 

“If infection rates continue to rise, we risk potentially being to late,” Ældre Sagen’s Michael Teit Nielsen told Danish broadcaster DR. 

READ MORE: Danish health minister says further Covid-19 vaccinations could ward off restriction

What about BA.2.75? 

Public health officials at SSI say that BA.2.75, an omicron sub-variant that has spread rapidly through India, is not yet a source of major concern in Denmark. Only five cases have been identified to date, with “a proportion” of those cases attributed to a single transmission chain from a Dane who had been infected while in Greece.