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Eight Danes evacuated from Hubei province evaluated as at low risk

In total 10 Danes, who have been evacuated from the Chinese province together with other European citizens in a joint EU evacuation effort, have arrived in Denmark. None of the ten are showing any symptoms of being infected with coronavirus.


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By Bente D. Knudsen

In Denmark, only two of the ten who were evacuated have been placed in quarantine.

The Danish health authorities have evaluated each of the ten during the long transport from China to Denmark via Madrid and Brussels.

They were flown home from the two European destinations by the Danish air force’s Challenger plane and landed at the military airport in Roskilde, Zealand, here they were received by doctors and other health personnel.

If there was the least suspicion of any of them being ill with the coronavirus they would have been hospitalised immediately and taken by ambulance to the isolation facilities of Hvidovre hospital.

The risk assessment is based on thorough talks with each of them to get information about their stay in China and their return trip home.

This has been used as background information to make a concrete risk evaluation based on the guidelines from the Health Board, Sundhedsstyrelsen.

A result of the risk assessment has been that two were evaluated as having a high risk of having been subject to the corona virus and therefore it has been agreed that they would stay at home in self quarantine for the next 14 days.

The other eight were evaluated at low risk.

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“All have been informed of the necessary precautions to take””, says Anne-Marie Vangsted from the Patient Security Board, Styrelsen for Patientsikkerhed. All will be monitored closely the coming weeks.”

Denmark is following the same procedures as its neighbouring countries and other European countries in relation to highly infectious disease.

“As Denmark is only evacuating so few citizens, we were able to make a through screening of all of them several times during their homebound trip. This has enabled us to make a serious and thorough assessment of each person (Editor’s note: as to the risk of having been exposed to the coronavirus). As it is safer for the society and more fair for each individual, we have decided on close monitoring when they are back or even home quarantine, rather than putting large scale quarantine facilities into use,” says Søren Brostrøm, CEO of Sundhedsstyrelsen, the Danish Health Board.

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At low risk, which eight of the ten have been evaluated as being, means that each person must take his temperature twice daily until 14 days after the expose to the virus has taken place. If the person gets a higher temperature or other signs of being ill, they must isolate themselves immediately and call one of the two hospitals in Denmark who are able to deal with coronavirus contamination.

“When we evaluate that they are at high risk, currently two of the ten are evaluated as being at high risk, then we increase the security and advise against travel and all contact to other people. We implement close monitoring and contact from health personnel to make sure the temperature is monitored, and we agree on a home quarantine where they are advised to stay at home until 14 days after risk of contact with the coronavirus,” Søren Brostrøm explains in a press release from the Danish Health Board. “If we are in doubt as to whether the information about the risk level is correct or can be evaluated correctly, then we will always put up the risk assessment level, going from low to high.”

Low Risk/ High Risk FACTS

Low: People who have had just random contact with a possible person who is ill, such as having been in a waiting room, are categorised as low.

High: People who have had close contact with a person who may be ill, such as conversation, contact with body fluids (for instance from sneezing or coughing) or has been sitting close to such a person in an airplane.

The coronavirus in NOT an air born virus such as measles for instance are. Instead it is transmitted through body fluids, drops from a running nose or from sneezing or coughing. This means that contamination is made when a person is very close to a person who is already showing symptoms.

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The Danish Health Board informs that if Denmark had to evacuate a very large number of citizens, then the Health Board would evaluate whether they should take into use one of the public quarantine facilities, however, the Board believes, as the number at present is so low, it would be inexpedient and probably less safe than the very detailed individual assessments combined with the possibility of home quarantine.