Danish Covid-19 wave ‘begins to have consequences’ for hospitals

A file photo of Covid-19 vaccines in Denmark. The country is struggling to control a winter surge of infections with the coronavirus.
A file photo of Covid-19 vaccines in Denmark. The country is struggling to control a winter surge of infections with the coronavirus. Photo: Philip Davali/Ritzau Scanpix
Denmark on Wednesday again set a 2021 record for the number of Covid-19 infections in a day, as hospitals begin to warn of consequences due to the escalating number of patients with the virus.

A total of 4,426 new cases of the virus were confirmed by infectious disease agency State Serum Institute (SSI) on Wednesday. That is the highest figure yet in 2021, breaking the record set 24 hours prior.

It is also the second-highest total of daily infections seen at any point during the pandemic in Denmark, exceeded only by the 4,508 infections on December 18th 2020.

The United States earlier this week warned its citizens against travelling to Denmark due to the increasing prevalence of Covid-19 cases in the country.

“This is a continuation of what we have seen during the last week. These are also infection rates very much driven by 6-11 year-olds,” said Åse Bengård Andersen, senior medical consultant at the department for infectious diseases at Copenhagen’s Rigshospitalet.

The 4,426 positive cases were found amongst 181,841 tests, giving a positivity rate of 2.43 percent, largely in line with that seen during the last week.

Hospitals across Denmark currently have a total of 435 patients admitted with Covid-19. That number is nine fewer than yesterday.

Despite the small drop, Andersen confirmed Danish hospitals are now feeling the strain of the increasing number of patients with the coronavirus.

“It has begun to have consequences. Although (the number) is not as high as during the last wave, you have to say this is nevertheless costly for our resources in the health system,” she said.

The number of hospitalised patients is now at a similar level to that seen in February this year, when Denmark was still in lockdown to see out its second wave of Covid-19.

The peak of that wave saw 964 patients in hospital with the coronavirus on January 4th.

The government on Wednesday announced a briefing on the Covid-19 situation in Denmark, scheduled for 4pm. No further detail was given as to the topic of the briefing.

Broadcaster TV2 reported on Wednesday that the government’s advisory Epidemic Commission has recommended the face mask requirements be reintroduced on public transport and in supermarkets and shopping centres. The measure was previously in place from autumn 2020 before being phased out during summer 2021.

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