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COVID infection rates and spread continue to grow in Denmark

At today’s press meeting, the Danish health authorities warned that the current situation is serious and that new measures will be taken should the need arise.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

A lockdown was not the subjet of today’s press meeting, and despite inquisitive questions from the media present about the possibility of such a step in Denmark, with mind to the renewed measures announced in amongst other Austria, Germany and Holland, the Danish Health Minister vehemently declined to guess about such a possibility.

Even the traditional Danish Christmas lunches were not off the table by the health authorities (at present).

Instead, an appeal to take precautions such as ensuring participants have a valid corona pas, people refrain from going if they have any symptoms of illness of any kind, remembering hygienic measures, airing out etc., were emphasized.

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However, the mood was serious, and the meeting was also a consequence of the rising criticism from the opposition parties and independent experts about the lack of communication from the Danish authorities in view of the increasing number of daily infections.

With 4,070 new infections yesterday out of 180,666 tests, numbers are back at a level not seen since December 2020 when vaccinations had not yet started.

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A total of 378 are hospitalised, of whom 48 are in intensive care.

Spread comes from those adults who are currently not vaccinated and from children below the age of 12 who at present cannot be vaccinated.

The incidence rate for children aged 5 to 14 is at present 1,000/100,000 and even if they do not become very ill, they spread the virus to their parents and other adults in their environment.

The authorities want to avoid closing schools, at present 7 schools have been closed due to high infection rates and spread and more can be expected to close during the coming winter season.

More quick testing of children down to the age of five years old will be put in place at schools and other public institutions, and parents are encouraged to give their permission to let their children be quick tested once a week at their children’s institutions, the Danish Health Minister said.

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Currently 75,6 percent of those able to get vaccinated have received their first shot and thus the aim of achieving a 90 percent vaccination for all above the age of 12 is only slowly coming within reach. However rates are high for the groups at risk of severe illness should they get infectioned, for those above the age of 65, more than 95 percent have received both shots.

A third shot is being proposed to all above the age of 65 and all Danes above the age of 18 will be invited to get a third shot during the next months.

This week alone more the 450,000 Danish residents will be invited to get their third shot and by the 1 December, it is expected that 1,5 million will have received an invitation in their e-box ,the Danish Health Minister said.

Once the vaccine for children below the age of 12 has been approved by the European Medical Agency, EMA, the Danish Health authorities will inform about the procedure for vaccination of children below the age of 12 in Denmark.

This information should be available by the end of November, Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said at the press meeting.

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Corona pas may become mandatory to be able to go to work

Magnus Heunicke also informed about the bill being voted upon in the Danish Parliament, a bill which will enable public and private employers make the presentation of a valid corona pas mandatory to be able to show up physically at work.

It is expected to be voted through parliament next week and once it is, a valid corona pas will become mandatory for all public employees he specified.

At the same time, the Danish Government is looking into reducing the validity of a corona pas based on a negative test, at present a negative PCR test is valid for 96 hours.

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The authorities are also looking at making the presentation of a corona pas mandatory in other areas than those reintroduced last Friday. More information about these measures will be made public next week.

Whether the mandatory use of facemasks will be reintroduced, or was even considered as a possible tool, was not clear.

It did not seem to be a measure which at present was most top of mind amongst the authorities present, instead vaccination and booster vaccinations and testing were still high on the agenda.

Avoiding measures that limit freedom and liberty of movement seem a priority but at the same time nothing is being ruled out those present from the health authorities said.

It would seem that weekly press meetings are back and Your Danish Life will of course continue to issue reports from them.

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