Amid rise in Covid cases, Danish govt upgrades curbs

The Danish Ministry of Health has announced the decision to introduce new national Covid-19 recommendations and restrictions amid fears of infections surge.

According to the ministry, citizens in the 15-25 age group in 17 metropolitan municipalities in and around the Copenhagen area have been identified as the principal driver of transmissions and called upon to “let yourself be tested before Christmas.”

The health authorities will utilize testing facilities aimed principally at the young, which will “move like a caravan” through all 17 affected municipalities, said Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke, adding that he hoped around 200,000 young people would be tested.

“The infection is on the rise in the city of Copenhagen and the surrounding municipalities in the metropolitan area,” said Heunicke.

The government also recommends that teaching and examinations at higher educational institutions inside the municipalities be conducted online, Xinhua reported.

“It is necessary to introduce stricter measures for children and young people’s school life in the 17 municipalities where the infection is particularly high right now,” said Soren Brostrom, director general of the Danish Health Authority.

According to the ministry’s data, infected residents in the metropolitan area accounted for 50 per cent of all confirmed cases in the country on November 21-27.

In terms of assembly, children and young people up to the age of 21 will face restrictions on participation in groups of 10 for all activities.

Meanwhile, the government calls upon families throughout the country to make Christmas gift purchases one person at a time.

On the national level, the possibility of gathering 500 people at seated events is being reduced, except for events such as religious, sports and cultural activities.

“The government does not plan to impose restrictions on travel between the regions at Christmas but we can not rule out that there will be further restrictions before Christmas,” said Heunicke.

According to the ministry, recommendations take effect immediately while all requirements will take effect on Dec. 7 and will stay in place until January 2, 2021.

The proposals were issued after Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen earlier expressed grave concern on Facebook that “infection rates are worryingly high.”

So far, Denmark has reported 81,949 Covid-19 cases and 846 deaths, according to the Statens Serum Institut, a governmental public health and research institution under the Danish Ministry of Health.