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|2020 coronavirus pandemic in Denmark (mainland)|
Number of confirmed cases by Municipalities
(as of 30 March):
|First outbreak||Wuhan, China (globally),|
Lombardy, Italy (origin of first Danish case),
Tyrol, Austria (origin of most imported cases)
|Arrival date||27 February 2020|
(1 month and 6 days)
|Severe cases||153 (number of cases in ICU)|
The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic has reached mainland Denmark. The first confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 in Denmark was on 27 February 2020. As of 2 April 2020, there have been 3,355 confirmed cases in Denmark. Among these, 123 have died, 1,089 recovered and 525 are in hospital, including 153 in intensive care.
From late January to early February, several groups of Danish citizens were evacuated from China. All were placed in quarantine and tested; none were infected.
On 27 February 2020, Denmark confirmed its first case when a man from Roskilde tested positive for COVID-19 at Zealand University Hospital, Roskilde. He was an editor from TV 2 who had been skiing in Lombardy in Italy and returned to Denmark on 24 February. He had mild symptoms and was placed in home quarantine.
On 28 February, a man who had returned home from a ski holiday in Northern Italy on 15 February tested positive at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen and was placed in home quarantine. The case was considered problematic because of the relatively long time that had passed from the person returning to Denmark to him contacting the authorities, increasing the period where he might have infected others and potentially making it more complex for the authorities to locate everybody that had been in close contact with him.
On 29 February, a man who had returned home from a conference in Munich, Germany tested positive at Aarhus University Hospital. Another attendee at the conference in Germany, an Italian man later found to have COVID-19, is the presumed origin of the Danish man's infection. The Dane was an employee of the Department of Dermatology at Aarhus University Hospital. He had mild symptoms and was placed in home quarantine.
On 1 March 2020, a person who was already in home quarantine was tested positive. The person had been in contact with the man tested positive on 28 February.
On 4 March, there were four more cases confirmed in (mainland) Denmark and the first confirmed case was reported from the Faroe Islands (an autonomous territory in the Kingdom of Denmark), bringing the total number of confirmed cases to fifteen. All the new cases were placed in home quarantine. The case in the Faroe Islands was a man with mild symptoms that had returned home from a conference in Paris, France.
On 5 March, there were five new confirmed cases. One of the cases was former Danish national football player Thomas Kahlenberg, who had been infected at a birthday party in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This forced the Danish clubs Brøndby and Lyngby, and the Dutch club Ajax to place some of their players and coaches, who had recently met with Kahlenberg, into quarantine. Kahlenberg described his symptoms as similar to a flu and he was placed in home quarantine. On the same date, the first Dane that had been confirmed infected on 27 February also became the first Dane to be declared fully recovered.
On 6 March, there were three new confirmed cases, including one in the Faroe Islands (the second case for this archipelago).
On 7 March, there were six new confirmed cases. Most Danes confirmed to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 had contracted it abroad and they had infected a few people in Denmark (there had been no person-to-person spread within Denmark where the source was unknown).
On 8 March, there were eight new confirmed cases, including a patient first admitted to North Zealand Hospital Hillerød with symptoms resembling pneumonia. Another mild case where the patient was placed in home quarantine was the first person confirmed to have COVID-19 in the North Jutland Region, meaning that all five regions of Denmark now had cases.
On 10 March, there were 172 new cases, bringing the total in (mainland) Denmark to 262. Among the new cases was one patient admitted to hospital, bringing the total to seven.
On 11 March, there were 252 new cases, bringing the total in (mainland) Denmark to 514. One of the cases, who likely had become infected at a meeting where another attendee was infected, caused particular concern because the person worked in a nursing home. As a result, the elderly at the nursing home were isolated in their own rooms, they were closely monitored and tests were being performed. Among all the infected people in Denmark, ten patients were in hospital, including two in intensive care.
On 12 March, there were 160 new confirmed cases, bringing the total in (mainland) Denmark to 674. Among these were two at the nursing home where the elderly had been isolated and closely monitored since the day before because an employee was tested positive. On the same date, former footballer Thomas Kahlenberg announced that he had been declared fully recovered, making him the second publicly known recovery in the country. Whereas many early cases were related to people returning from ski holiday in northern Italy, many cases discovered later were related to people returning from ski holiday in Tyrol in Austria. An 80-year-old man with a history of heart disease tested positive after having a heart attack and dying in the North Jutland Region. Although unclear whether the virus had played a role in it, the authorities counted it as the first fatality related to COVID-19 in Denmark.
On 13 March, there were 127 new confirmed cases, bringing the total in (mainland) Denmark to 801. In addition, the Faroe Islands had their third confirmed case. Among all the infected people in Denmark, 23 were in hospital, including 4 in intensive care.
On 14 March, there were 26 new confirmed cases in (mainland) Denmark, bringing the total to 827. Another 6 were confirmed in the Faroe Islands, bringing the total to 9 in this archipelago. The second person died from COVID-19 in Denmark, in the Capital Region. It was an 81-year-old that was already weakened due to other serious diseases.
In mainland Denmark,[note 1] Aalborg University Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital, Hvidovre Hospital, Odense University Hospital, Rigshospitalet and Zealand University Hospital Roskilde have sections prepared for serious cases of COVID-19 that require treatment, as well as patients that are elderly or have pre-existing conditions and therefore are particularly vulnerable to the disease. Other hospitals were required by the regions to prepare lists of non-essential operations that can be postponed. This would allow the manpower, space and equipment to rapidly be allocated towards an outbreak of coronavirus. On 11 March 2020, the first hospitals began postponing non-essential operations as a preparation for future cases of COVID-19, and on 17 March this was done in all hospitals nationwide. Initially, all testing of samples for SARS-CoV-2 was performed at the Statens Serum Institut, but on 25 February (before the first confirmed case in the country) this was expanded to all the hospitals that also had sections that were ready for treating serious cases of COVID-19. In early March, other hospitals started to perform the tests. On 6 March, Aarhus University Hospital made a "drive-through" test facility (similar to those used in South Korea) where a person can be tested without having to leave his/her verhicle, but people using it still have to phone their personal doctor or the doctor-on-call (Danish: Lægevagten) for instructions first. On 10–11 March, Aalborg University Hospital, Regionshospital North Jutland Hjørring and Zealand University Hospital Roskilde introduced "drive-through" test facilities. On 11 March, the Danish Health Authority announced a change of strategy, which means that only people hospitalized with severe signs of respiratory illness or shortness of breath, will be examined for COVID-19 infection. As a consequence, it is suspected that COVID-19 cases in the country are underreported, and health officials expect the actual number to be significantly higher than the current amount of confirmed cases.
According to the guidelines by the Danish Health Authority, all infected people that have no or mild symptoms and are not considered particularly vulnerable are placed in home quarantine with daily contact from health professionals. Anybody that has been in close contact with someone known to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 is also placed in home quarantine. As of 2 March, 122 people were in home quarantine in Denmark because they had been in contact with an infected person in Denmark or abroad; by 12 March this had increased to 1366 in Denmark and 31 in the Faroe Islands. It is expected to further increase as a result of new cases of COVID-19. Should it become necessary, each region has its own facilities for quarantining at least one thousand people, and if containment of SARS-CoV-2 through normal isolation fails, more drastic measures can be implemented using the Epidemic Law (Danish: Epidemiloven).
Initially, the authorities strongly recommended that all events with more than one thousand people be cancelled or postponed, but on 11 March the limit was lowered to one hundred people; this recommendation covers March, but can be extended if necessary. Among others, football (including the Danish Superliga) and handball matches were without spectators or entirely cancelled, the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix did not have an audience, concerts and conferences were cancelled or postponed, and the Euroschoolsport tournament at Esbjerg High School where students and teachers from much of Europe were supposed to meet was cancelled. The Folketing (Danish Parliament) cancelled some of their regular meetings and hearings, and when voting a clearing system will be used to avoid having more than 95 members in the main chamber at any one time.
On 10 March, the authorities recommended that people that use public transportation should attempt to reduce their travel in peak hours, if possible people should walk or bicycle shorter distances instead, and anyone feeling sick in any way or suspecting that they might have COVID-19 should not use public transportation. In an attempt of increasing the space between people using public transportation, more buses and trains were added to the schedules, and there were stricter limits on the number of passengers allowed in each. From 12 March, all intercity train rides would be limited to people with seat reservations.
Starting 13 March 2020, all people working in non-essential functions in the public sector were ordered to stay home for two weeks. In the private sector, employers are urged by the authorities to allow their employees to stay home in the same period and work from there if possible, although this should not affect functions that are essential to the society (such as pharmacy workers and people working with sale of food and maintenance of critical infrastructure).
Starting 13 March, all secondary education (like gymnasiums), universities, libraries, indoor cultural institutions and similar places were closed, initially for two weeks. Starting on 16 March, all primary schools, daycare and similar places were also closed for two weeks. Virtual (online) schooling was used to some degree. The municipalities are establishing limited daycare for children where the parents could not stay home and take care of them. Because of the vulnerability of elderly to COVID-19, it was strongly recommended that grandparents should not take care of their grandchildren.
Starting 18 March at 10 AM, a number of further restrictions were activated: It became illegal to assemble more than ten people in public, all shopping centres and stores with close contact such as hairdressers and nightclubs must be closed, restaurants can only serve take-away, and other businesses must ensure that there is enough space between customers. Unlike previous restrictions on the number of people allowed to assemble, the new restrictions are not merely a recommendation, and breaking the new restrictions is associated with fines of DKK 1500. On 23 March, it was announced that the above lockdown measures would be extended for a further 2 weeks, and be in place until 13 April.
In late March, authorities acknowledged that the strategy of mitigation had partially worked, but had been less successful than the mass testing in China and South Korea. Efforts were increased for immediate testing (at Novo Nordisk), mass testing and local rapid testing for individuals.
The Danish Foreign Ministry has changed its travel guidelines several times during the coronavirus outbreak. During the peak of the outbreak in the Chinese mainland, Iran, the regions of Aosta Valley, Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Marche, Piedmont and Veneto in Italy, Ischgl in Tyrol of Austria, and San Marino, all travel to these places was advised against, and during the peak in the rest of Italy, the rest of Tyrol in Austria, Madrid, Basque Country and La Rioja in Spain, parts of Germany, parts of France, parts of Switzerland, and Daegu City and North Gyeongsang Province (also known as Gyeongbuk) in South Korea, all non-essential travel to these places was advised against. On 13 March, all non-essential travel to the rest of the world was advised against because of the spread of the outbreak, restrictions introduced on foreign visitors (for example, restrictions of flights or forced quarantine), their healthcare system's ability to handle a major outbreak or other reasons indirectly related to the coronavirus pandemic. On 13 March, the authorities recommended that all Danes that were abroad (excluding Danes that live abroad) should return to Denmark as fast as possible. From 14 March to 13 April, all Danish borders will be closed, except for transport of goods, people with an important reason for visiting, foreigners leaving Denmark, and Danes and people with a residence permit returning to Denmark.
On 3 March, the Danish Government required that all healthcare workers (also including anyone working with care of the elderly) that have travelled to a region with high risk of COVID-19 to stay home for two weeks from the date of their return to Denmark. This was done to reduce the risk of vulnerable people being infected. As of 9 March, high risk regions are mainland China, part of South Korea, Iran, Italy and Tyrol in Austria, but are subject to daily reviews by the authorities. Everybody else that has travelled to these regions are instructed to not visit places like nursing homes and hospitals in two weeks after their return to Denmark (anybody suspecting that they might be infected should phone their personal doctor or the doctor-on-call (Danish: Lægevagten) for further instructions), and it is recommended—but not required—that they also stay home from work for two weeks. This recommendation was supported by the employers' organisations in the country such as the Confederation of Danish Industry and the Danish Chamber of Commerce. Kommunernes Landsforening, which represents the municipalities in Denmark, made similar recommendations for all children that had visited a high risk region; they should stay home from school, kindergarten, daycare and similar places in 14 days after their return to Denmark. Foreigners that arrive in Denmark from a high risk region are urged—but not required—by the authorities to follow the same guidelines as Danes and localities for quarantine are available for people that do not already have a suitable locality.
Starting on 9 March, passengers on flights that originated in a high risk region would not have access to Danish airport buildings, but instead were picked up directly from the plane in special busses that could transport them to their home or other locality of quarantine. From 11 March, all flights from high risk regions were cancelled.
As of 15 March, among nations with at least one million citizens, Denmark has the world's sixth-highest per-capita rate of positive coronavirus cases at 144.3 cases per million people.
In the daily report published by Statens Serum Institut that covered all 785 confirmed cases in (mainland) Denmark as of the morning of 13 March (16 others were confirmed later during the day and not included), it was reported that 67.8% were male and 32.2% female. In terms of age, 10 were 0–9 years old, 30 were 10–19 years old, 134 were 20–29 years old, 135 were 30–39 years old, 253 were 40–49 years old, 159 were 50–59 years old, 50 were 60–69 years old, 5 were 70–79 years old, 7 were 80–89 years old, and 2 were 90+ years old. In terms of origin, 265 had been infected in Austria, 60 in Italy, 2 in Germany, 1 each in Iran, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States, and 158 had been infected within Denmark, while data was pending for the remaining (well above half of those were infected abroad). In terms of residency, 324 live in the Capital Region (160 in Copenhagen, 79 in the Copenhagen upland, 85 in north Zealand, none in Bornholm), 103 in Region Zealand (53 in west and south Zealand, 50 in east), 130 in the Region of Southern Denmark (50 in Funen, 80 in south Jutland), 175 in the Central Denmark Region (154 in east Jutland, 21 in west) and 47 in the North Jutland Region, while the remaining 6 are currently in Denmark but live abroad.
|04-03-2020||5||15||+50%||Incl. 1 in the Faroe Islands|
|05-03-2020||5||20||+33%||1 – Case from 27 February|
|06-03-2020||3||23||+15%||Incl. 1 in the Faroe Islands|
|12-03-2020||160||676||+31%||1||1||1 – Case from 5 March|
|13-03-2020||128||804||+19%||1||Incl. 1 in the Faroe Islands|
|17-03-2020||92||1024||+9.9%||4||+0%||Incl. 47 in the Faroe Islands|
|18-03-2020||91||1115||+8.8%||4||+0%||Incl. 58 in the Faroe Islands|
|19-03-2020||108||1223||+9.7%||2||6||+50%||Incl. 72 in the Faroe Islands|
|20-03-2020||112||1335||+9.2%||3||9||+50%||Incl. 80 in the Faroe Islands|
|21-03-2020||83||1418||+6.2%||4||13||+44%||Incl. 92 in the Faroe Islands|
|22-03-2020||94||1512||+6.6%||0||13||+0%||Incl. 108 in the Faroe Islands|
|23-03-2020||58||1570||+3.8%||0||13||+0%||Incl. 118 in the Faroe Islands and 2 in Greenland|
|24-03-2020||119||1703||+7.6%||11||24||+85%||Incl. 122 in the Faroe Islands and 4 in Greenland|
|25-03-2020||158||1861||+9.2%||10||34||+42%||Incl. 132 in the Faroe Islands and 5 in Greenland|
|26-03-2020||162||2023||+8.7%||7||41||+21%||Incl. 140 in the Faroe Islands and 6 in Greenland|
|27-03-2020||140||2163||+6.9%||11||52||+27%||Incl. 144 in the Faroe Islands and 9 in Greenland|
|28-03-2020||203||2366||+9.3%||13||65||+25%||Incl. 155 in the Faroe Islands and 10 in Greenland|
|29-03-2020||198||2564||+8.3%||7||72||+11%||Incl. 159 in the Faroe Islands and 10 in Greenland|
|30-03-2020||191||2755||+7.4%||5||77||+7%||Incl. 168 in the Faroe Islands and 10 in Greenland|
|31-03-2020||284||3039||+10.3%||13||90||+17%||Incl. 169 in the Faroe Islands and 10 in Greenland|
|01-04-2020||251||3290||+8.3%||14||104||+16%||Incl. 173 in the Faroe Islands and 10 in Greenland|
|02-04-2020||252||3542||+7.7%||19||123||+18%||Incl. 177 in the Faroe Islands and 10 in Greenland|
|Source: Statens Serum Institut|
several countries are in lack of the chemical reagents necessary to test their citizens for the disease.