Denmark breaks record for new coronavirus cases

Denmark on Saturday registered the highest number of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic broke out in March, surpassing the country's previous April peak.

Denmark breaks record for new coronavirus cases
A nurse tests a patient for coronavirus. Photo: Region Nord-Jylland
According to new figures posted up by the country's SSI infectious diseases agency on Saturday afternoon, the country registered 589 new cases in the preceding 24 hours, surpassing a previous record of 473 set on April 3rd. 
“I would expect that the the number continue to increase,” Rune Hartmann, professor in molecular biology at Aarhus University, told the Ritzau newswire. 
“The numbers show that we have an active epidemic and therefore we must of course also take care.” 
Denmark has significantly increased the number of tests it carries out each day since the start of April, so the new record number of positive diagnoses does not suggest that the real level of infection in society has passed the highs seen at the start of April. 
Nine new cases were admitted to hospital in the 24 hours up to Saturday afternoon, compared to 94 on March 25th, and Denmark has only recorded two deaths with coronavirus since Monday. On April 1st, it recorded 22 in a single day. 
“It's not as if I go into a panic when I see these numbers,” Hartmann said, adding that he expected the restrictions on nightlife brought in nationally on Friday to start to bring the pandemic under control. 
“I think that is sensible, because it's not just the capital where many are infected, but also in Esbjerg, north Jutland and most of Funen,” he said.
He said it would take “at least a week” for the restrictions to show an effect. 

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Covid-19: Denmark halves test capacity due to low infection numbers

Denmark is to cut its Covid-19 testing capacity due to low demand at municipal PCR test centres.

Covid-19: Denmark halves test capacity due to low infection numbers

The daily number of PCR tests at local centres will therefore be reduced from 40,000 to 20,000, the Agency for Critical Supplies (Styrelsen for Forsyningssikkerhed) confirmed in a statement on Monday.

Some test centres are expected to close due to the reduced operations.

“The downscaling is expected to result in a further reduction in the number of test locations, while opening times will be adjusted in the country’s test centres,” the agency said in the statement.

“These adjustments will take place on an ongoing basis,” it added.

Recent months have seen Covid-19 infections receding in Denmark after the winter wave, which was driven by the Omicron variant of the virus.

Health authorities have credited a high level of immunity in the community, due to previous infections, and a high vaccination rate including booster vaccinations, in reducing the spread of the coronavirus throughout the spring.

Covid-19 is also known to be transmitted less during warmer seasons.

The lower number of cases is linked to the reduced demand for testing in Denmark. Last week saw an average of around 5,000 tests administered daily.

The government is expected later this year to present a Covid-19 testing strategy for late 2022 and next winter.

Denmark lifted the majority of its Covid-19 restrictions in February, with final travel restrictions ending in March.

Health authorities now only recommend taking a PCR test for Covid-19 if you have symptoms and are at risk of serious illness should you contract the virus.

Testing is no longer recommended for close contacts of people who have the virus or are suspected to have it.

READ ALSO: Denmark says Covid-19 testing now only needed for ‘special medical reasons’