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Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday

Elizabeth Anne Brown
Elizabeth Anne Brown - [email protected]
Today in Denmark: A roundup of the news on Friday
Public health officials urge Danes to stay up to date on Covid and flu vaccines as deaths spike this winter. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix

Total deaths in Denmark up 'significantly' due to Covid and flu, employers' case against shortened master's degrees, and stop-and-search in Copenhagen are among the top news stories in Denmark on Friday.


Deaths up 'significantly' in Denmark due to 'triple epidemic' 

Significantly more people in Denmark have died in recent weeks than were expected, according to the most recent report from the State Serum Institute, Denmark's infectious disease agency. Officials at the SSI say this winter's triple epidemic — widespread infections with Covid, influenza, and RSV — are likely to blame, having hit elderly populations particularly hard. 


While final tallies are still being calculated, the SSI believes about 30 percent more people died than were expected to the week of December 12th, based on a graph published by the agency. In the final week of the year, about 1,400 people died in Denmark — that represents "really high" excess mortality, according to SSI director Henrik Ullum. 

The SSI anticipates that flu infections will continue to rise over the next several weeks. "This can mean that excess mortality may drag on, " Ullum told broadcaster DR. "We must anticipate that we will see significant continued illness in Danish society over the winter and also excess mortality." 

However, Ullum doesn't foresee restrictions like masking or work-from-home returning to Denmark. "The burden on our healthcare system is much less," he said to DR. "That's why no experts — including myself — see restrictions coming into question at all." 

Instead, Ullum urges vaccination against both flu and Covid and emphasises the importance of staying home if you feel sick. 

READ MORE: Can you get a Covid booster in Denmark if you aren't in a risk group? 

Survey: most employers oppose Denmark's plan to shorten master's programmes 

The Danish government's plan to cut many master's degree programmes from two years to one isn't popular among most employers in Denmark, according to survey data from the Danish Association of Lawyers and Economists (Djøf). 

Of the more than 1,600 public and private employers surveyed, 77 percent said shortening master's programmes would be "a step backwards," newswire Ritzau reports. Meanwhile, 72 percent of employers said they'd prefer to employ a graduate with a longer degree over a candidate with a shorter one. Two out of three respondents went so far as to say that graduates with shorter degrees should command lower salaries. 

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: What are the main policies of the new Danish government?

Stabbings: Police extend Copenhagen stop-and-search for two more weeks 

January 2nd saw two more stabbings in Nørrebro, despite elevated police presence and a special stop-and-search policy implemented in the wake of five earlier stabbings in Nørrebro and Nordvest during the Christmas holidays, according to Ritzau. 

Copenhagen law enforcement has announced it will continue the stop and search zones (also called "visitation zones") for the next two weeks. Since the searches began December 29th, police say 120 people have been searched, turning up 13 stabbing weapons and leading to five charges. 

Police believe several of the stabbings are between young men "associated with criminal circles," Ritzau reports. 

READ ALSO: Copenhagen police implement stop and search zones in wake of stabbings 


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