Denmark is cutting out most of its corona measures today. But experts warn against making the same mistake as last year.
The Danes can again go to a nightclub. The mouthpiece can be scrapped. From 1 February, covid-19 is no longer considered one socially critical illness with our neighbors in the south (see facts).
Therefore, the Danish government has eased all restrictions. The only thing left is entry testing for those without a corona passport. In addition, there are rules for what to do when you become infected.
Infection rates in Denmark are still far higher than in Norway. The country is known for testing a lot. The Statens Serum Institut, which is the Danish Institute of Public Health, nevertheless believes that they see a positive development.
Denmark has had fewer restrictions than Norway during the omikron wave, but is now removing them all. Tonight it will be clear what reliefs will come in Norway.
Super good timing
Tyra Grove Krause is academic director at the Statens Serum Institut. She tells the news agency Ritzau that they believe the infection curve has peaked in the Copenhagen area.
– There are many indications that infection has reached its peak in the areas where it has been most pronounced. In the capital and Region Zealand, we already saw declining infection rates at the end of last week, especially among school children, she says to the agency.
– Then there is super good timing with regard to easing the restrictions.
Krause said everything before Christmas that she expected the infection to come like a big wave in January and that it would peak around the turn of the month. In Norway, the Norwegian Directorate of Health says that they want to see when the peak of infection comes before they release the infection completely.
Here are the calculations that kept Norway closed even longer
Fewer intensive care patients than Norway
Krause expects that the infection will continue to rise in other parts of Denmark. She is particularly concerned that one must still try to protect the elderly in nursing homes. Therefore, there will probably be a requirement for a bandage and distance when you are in a nursing home.
Although the infection rates are high, Krause believes that there are large dark numbers. And they are getting bigger. She believes that the official infection rates should be multiplied by three in the future.
Denmark had more than 1,000 inpatients with coronary heart disease on Monday. But about a quarter are admitted to psychiatric wards. It is therefore not clear how many people have been admitted due to covid-19.
At the same time, Denmark had fewer intensive care patients with corona than Norway. In Denmark it was 32 in the intensive care unit on Monday, against 51 in Norway.
– My gaze is on the seriously ill. I sit and look at figures for inpatients in intensive care units, which by the way have fallen and fallen and are incredibly low, says Denmark’s health director Søren Brostrøm to Danish TV2.
Warns against cutting emergency preparedness
Although the Danes are happy that the corona passport, distance rules and ban will disappear, three renowned experts will issue a warning.
They believe that people should not think that the pandemic is too good.
– The epidemic is not over. It has only changed character for a while, write the doctors Ida Donkin, Jens Lundgren and Lars Østergaard in Berlingske.
Lundgren and Østergaard are both professors of infectious disease medicine and have been diligently used as commentators in the coronary pandemic. Donkin is a gynecologist, a member of the health services’ ethics council and writes regularly in Berlingske.
They remind that:
- Denmark is at the top of the world in vaccination. But the vaccination rate in other parts of the world is low. Therefore, new mutations may occur.
- We do not know how long the immunity after omicron infection lasts.
- It’s easy to get behind if you think the pandemic is over.
– We must not repeat the mistake of the last two years and already now talk about the coronavirus in the past, they write.
They believe that more must be invested in research, as well as fine-tuning the test strategy so that one can keep the social machinery going if new waves come. They also believe that emergency preparedness must be maintained so that new waves can be acted upon quickly. Hospitals must organize themselves so that they are prepared for next winter.
– We must not again be surprised by new varieties or overlook the fall in population immunity. Right here and now we are moving towards brighter times, and we must not forget to enjoy that, the three doctors write.