Lockdown could cut virus spread rate in half: Danish health agency

Denmark's SSI health agency has estimated that the tough lockdown measures the country has put in place could cut the rate the coronavirus pandemic spreads in the country by as much as half.

Lockdown could cut virus spread rate in half: Danish health agency
SSI believes the reproduction rate could fall by as much as 50 percent as a result of the lockdown measures. Photo: SSI
SSI (Statens Serum Institut), which is responsible for combatting infectious diseases in Denmark, said in its evaluation that it now believed that the virus's reproduction rate in Denmark before lockdown measures were put in place had been 2.1.
This means that each person who caught the disease infected on average 2.1 more people over the course of their illness. The agency said it had developed this estimate by analysing of the rise in daily confirmed cases from 33 a day on March 13 to 83 cases a day on March 18, before the lockdown measures were put in place. 
“If the current measures in society continue beyond March 30, the number of reproductions, that is, the number of people to whom each infection carries the infection, could be reduced by 30% to 50%,” the institute estimated. 
It said it was basing its mathematical models on data from Italy, where the transmission rate had been higher at 2.6. 
But the agency warned that achieving such a reduction would also require keeping public awareness and adherence to social distancing measures high throughout the spring. 


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Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italian heathcare staff suspended over their refusal to be vaccinated against Covid-19 can now return to work, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni confirmed on Monday.

Italy allows suspended anti-vax doctors to return to work

Italy become the first country in Europe to make it obligatory for healthcare workers to be vaccinated, ruling in 2021 that they must have the jab or be transferred to other roles or suspended without pay.

That obligation had been set to expire in December, but was brought forward to Tuesday due to “a shortage of medical and health personnel”, Health Minister Orazio Schillaci said.

READ ALSO: Is Italy’s government planning to scrap all Covid measures?

Italy was the first European country to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, and has since registered nearly 180,000 deaths.

Schillaci first announced the plan to scrap the rule on Friday in a statement saying data showed the virus’ impact on hospitals  “is now limited”.

Those who refuse vaccination will be “reintegrated” into the workforce before the rule expires at the end of this year, as part of what the minister called a “gradual return to normality”.

Meloni said the move, which has been criticised by the centre-left as a win for anti-vax campaigners, would mean some 4,000 healthcare workers can return to work.

This includes some 1,579 doctors and dentists refusing vaccination, according to records at the end of October, representing 0.3 percent of all those registered with Italy’s National Federation of the Orders of Physicians, Surgeons and Dentists (Fnomceo) 

Meloni’s post-fascist Brothers of Italy party railed against the way Mario Draghi’s government handled the pandemic, when it was the main opposition party, and she promised to use her first cabinet meetings to mark a clear break in policies with her predecessor.