Denmark extends lockdown to fight extra contagious coronavirus variant

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COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Denmark on Wednesday prolonged arduous lockdown measures by no less than three weeks to restrict the unfold of the coronavirus, specifically a extra transmissible variant of the virus that’s spreading within the Nordic nation.

FILE PHOTO: Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen arrives for a spherical desk assembly at an EU summit on the European Council constructing in Brussels, Belgium December 10, 2020. Olivier Matthys/Pool through REUTERS

Denmark has up to now registered 208 instances of the brand new variant dubbed cluster B 1.1.7., which was first registered in Britain and has unfold throughout Europe.

“It is the growth that is extremely worrying,” Well being Minister Magnus Heunicke advised a information convention late on Wednesday.

“This means that we will see a situation with sharply increasing infection rates later in the winter, if the situation continues as it is now,” he stated.

Within the first week of January, 3.6% of all constructive instances had been the extra transmissible variant, up from 2.4% on the finish of December.

The replica quantity, a measure of how many individuals one particular person infects on common, is at the moment round 0.9. However in isolation, the determine for the brand new variant is round 1.2, authorities stated on Wednesday.

Present restrictions in Denmark, now in impact till Feb 7., embody a five-person restrict on public gatherings and the closure of bars, eating places and colleges.

The federal government has suggested towards any journey overseas and restricted incoming journey – curbs that had been additionally prolonged on Wednesday.

Denmark noticed a drastic spike in new COVID-19 instances and hospitalizations in December, though numbers have stabilized within the first weeks of January.

On Wednesday, the nation reported 1,358 new instances and 37 coronavirus-related deaths, whereas the variety of hospitalizations fell by 58 to 859.

Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Enhancing by Jon Boyle and Cynthia Osterman


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Jon Boyle

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