Covid-19 epidemic in Denmark ‘increases mildly’ for fourth week

Covid-19 epidemic in Denmark 'increases mildly' for fourth week
Coronavirus information at a gym in Copenhagen. photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix
Denmark has seen a mild increase in its coronavirus infections for the fourth consecutive week.

The number of daily infections with Covid-19 was under 1,000 for the fourth day in a row on Tuesday, but the R-number or reproduction rate for the virus has been calculated at 1.1, as it was in the three preceding weeks.

An R-number of 1.1 means that 10 people with the virus will pass it on to an average of 11 others, giving a mild overall increasing epidemic.

“It is the fourth consecutive week we are maintaining around the same level and that gives us a mildly increasing epidemic,” Health Minister Magnus Heunicke wrote on Twitter.

Heunicke noted a number of elements of Denmark’s current strategy against the virus which he said are helping to limit increased spread of the virus.

“Efficient vaccine rollout, intensive testing, fast contact tracing and closing off of local infection clusters are our most important weapons,” he wrote.

Latest data shows that 32 percent of the population has so far received at least a first dose of the coronavirus. Just over 20 percent have received both doses.

The R-number has a lag associated because it looks at cases which have already been confirmed, not those occurring at the current time. As such, it reflects the infection situation around 1.5 weeks ago. It is still a useful measure, however, because health authorities use it as a marker for trends in the epidemic.

A total of 794 new cases of the virus were registered in the latest daily totals to be published by the national infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI).

That represents the fourth day in a row in which that figure has been under 1,000. 139,159 PCR tests were conducted, giving a test positivity rate of 0.57.

The number of Covid-19 inpatients at Danish hospitals now stands at 148, five more than on Monday.

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