Coronavirus ‘under control’ in Denmark: Prime Minister

Denmark, which is slowly lifting restrictions to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, has brought the disease under control, the prime minister said on Wednesday.

Coronavirus 'under control' in Denmark: Prime Minister
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen in parliament on Wednesday. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix
“The infection is under control and the Danish strategy has succeeded in a first, difficult phase,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told parliament.
In mid-March, Copenhagen closed nurseries, primary and secondary schools, as well as cafes, restaurants, bars, gyms and hair salons.
Gatherings of more than 10 people were banned.
Some of the measures have since been lifted, with reopenings of schools for children up to age 11, as well as small businesses such as hairdressers and tattoo parlours.
A second phase of reopenings is scheduled to begin on May 10.
On April 1, the Scandinavian country widened its testing to include people showing mild symptoms. Previously only those displaying moderate to severe symptoms were tested.
Denmark on Wednesday confirmed a total of 9,206 cases since the beginning of the outbreak and 443 deaths.

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Danish PM Frederiksen awaits result of coronavirus test

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has been tested for coronavirus and is currently in isolation, the Prime Minister's office confirmed in a statement on Wednesday morning.

Danish PM Frederiksen awaits result of coronavirus test
Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The PM attended a meeting alongside Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup at the end of last week. Hækkerup, who said on Tuesday he was experiencing symptoms and awaiting a test result, has now confirmed a positive test for Covid-19.

“The Prime Minister participated in a meeting with the justice minister on Friday October 30th 2020, where all guidelines for social distance etc. were followed,” the government statement read.

“The Prime Minister is currently showing no symptoms pf Covid-19 and will, as far as possible, continue to work via virtual meetings,” it added.

Hækkerup said in a Facebook post that he had a cough and fever but is in good spirits.

Frederiksen, along with several other leading government figures including foreign minister Jeppe Kofod, health minister Magnus Heunicke and finance minister Nicolai Wammen, have also met with Hækkerup and are now in isolation as they await the results of their Covid-19 tests.

“The virus has spread to both parliament and the government. I am in isolation and will be tested. Though I have no symptoms of the disease. Take care of each other,” Frederiksen wrote on Facebook.

A series of ministers, members of parliament and a party leader – Søren Pape Poulsen of the Conservatives – were yesterday confirmed to have tested positive for Covid-19. A number of other parliamentarians have isolated due to suspected contact with the virus and Frederiksen's questions session in parliament was postponed.

The most serious report regarding infected Danish politicians concerns Lars Christian Lilleholt of the Liberal (Venstre) party. Lilleholt, a former minister who is now the Liberal defence spokesperson, has been admitted to the University Hospital in Odense with pneumonia after testing positive for coronavirus and has been given the experimental treatment Remdesivir, he confirmed in a social media post.

READ ALSO: Is Denmark's parliament at the centre of a coronavirus outbreak?

An ex-minister suggested that procedures at the Christiansborg parliament be adapted to prevent the spread of infection.

“Perhaps – very carefully suggested – Parliament should rethink consultations and votes. Not by not having them. But the way they take place. Disease is every man's master,” Søren Pind wrote on Twitter.

The parliament has said it will restrict the number of people who can attend meetings.