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Summary, 27.03.2020 - 3 press conferences, and other news - New test method in Denmark!

Updated: Mar 28


Once again a long summary, but there were also three press conferences today...


I hope you guys will find it useful nonetheless.


Foto: Ida Guldbæk Arentsen/Ritzau Scanpix


FIRST PRESS CONFERENCE – PUBLIC EMPLOYEES (11:00 – 11:30)

PRESENT

  • The Minister for Taxation - Morten Bødskov

  • Chairman for the Central Federation of State Employees’ Organisations – Rita Bundgaard

  • Chairman for The Salary and Personnel Committee in the National Association of Municipalities (KL) – Michael Ziegler

  • Chairman of the Negotiation Community – Mona Striib

  • Board Member in the Danish Regions – Anders Kühnau

  • Chairman of The Danish Health Confederation – Grete Christensen


BRIEF

  • An agreement between all of the above-mentioned parts means, that public employees, who have been sent home, are not handling critical functions, and who do not work in all or parts of the period of 28.3 – 13.4, must use up to 5 days of their holidays.

  • Holidays, special holidays, time off, care days and senior days can be used in this regard.

  • If the employee has already used days off between the 13.3 – 27.3, they will count towards these 5 days.

  • The goal is to avoid that too many people take days off when Denmark needs to get up in gear again after the crisis.

  • Once the crisis is over, there will be a huge backlog of tasks to handle in the public sector (e.g. surgeries). These need to be taken care of as quickly as possible, when possible.

  • The agreements of pushing holidays from this holiday-year to the shortened holiday-year between May and September might be cancelled (but have not been yet, red.).

SECOND PRESS CONFERENCE WITH THE DANISH HEALTH AUTHORITIES (SST) AND THE WHO – STATUS ON THE DANISH EFFORT AGAINST COVID-19 (13:45 – 14:00)

PRESENT

  • Director for the Danish Health Authorities (SST) – Søren Brostrøm

  • Director for WHO Europe (WHO) – Hans Klage


BRIEF

SST:

  • The SST admits that they should have done a lot of things differently, if they knew back in January, what they know now.

  • Back in January the SST saw the Coronavirus as acting more like sars and mers. Later they realised, that the Coronavirus was acting more like pandemic flu.

  • If we have to do this all over again, we will do things completely differently. But things were done similarly in other countries.

  • The test capacity must be increased, not just for Corona, but also for other diseases.

  • Our test capacity hasn’t been in order. We have been too late out in terms of building up our test capacity, and we have not been good enough to communicate what the goal has been. We cannot promise that things get better tomorrow, but we are working very hard on getting our test capacity up.

WHO:

  • The WHO’s recommendations are both global and regional, and it is important, that our recommendations are fitted into the individual country’s healthcare system.

  • It is positive that Denmark has increased its test capacity.

  • There has been some confusion in Denmark regarding our tweet with ‘Test, test, test’. Quote: “The most important is to have a mixed strategy. A single initiative is not enough. Coronavirus is not just a matter for the healthcare authorities. It is a matter for the entire society, and that is what I see in Denmark”.

THIRD PRESS CONFERENCE WITH SEVERAL PUBLIC AUTHORITIES (14:00 – 14:50)

PRESENT

  • Minister of Children and Education (EDU) – Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil

  • Director of the Danish Health Authorities (SST) – Søren Brostrøm

  • Director for Organisation and Citizen Service in the Foreign Ministry (MFA) – Erik Brøgger

  • Director for Communication in the National Police (POL) – Anders Frandsen


BRIEF

EDU:

  • It is the school and teachers, who have the teaching duty – not the parents.

  • The government will within a foreseeable future make a decision regarding exams at the educational institutions.

  • Only 1.5 % of the children in the country is in emergency care. Vulnerable children and young are encouraged to use this offer, to offer some relief in everyday life. Parents and teachers should help each other, to get the children sent to these offers.


SST:

  • Our test capacity hasn’t been in order. We have been too late out in terms of building up our test capacity, and we have not been good enough to communicate what the goal has been. We cannot promise that things get better tomorrow, but we are working very hard on getting our test capacity up.

  • We should have changed our strategy in the first or second week of February, and have started testing much more broadly.

  • More tests will be the key to be able to open up our society in a safe way.

  • Don’t hold back calling your doctor, if you are feeling sick with symptoms of other things than COVID-19.

  • We do make mistakes, and the media have to continue asking critical questions. But please give us some space to work in. Quote: “You don’t have to dig into all the cracks”.

  • We expect the development of herd immunity so that the next wave will be smaller.


MFA:

  • Peru and the Philippines are the places in the world, where most Danes are stranded.

  • 300 Danes will be escorted out of the Philippines on a special plane.

  • A special plane has not been arranged for Peru yet, as the local authorities prove difficult to work with.

  • It is not the Danish state, which pays for getting Danes home. They have to do that themselves.

  • We haven’t forgotten Danes in western countries like Australia, but you are not our main priority. We are focusing on countries, where the healthcare system is under pressure.


POL:

  • The last 24 hours the police have given 20 injunctions and filed out 117 charges for not respecting the ban on gathering more than 10 people in public space.

  • The police will be present throughout the weekend, not only in the cities but also in summerhouse-areas.

OTHER NEWS:

  • 2.046 people have tested positive, 195 more than yesterday.

  • 430 are hospitalised, 44 more than yesterday.

  • Of those, 109 are in intensive care, 15 more than yesterday.

  • Of those 109, 89 are in respirators, 11 more than yesterday.

  • The Danish Regions has, through contacts with Danish businesses and universities ensured, that 5.000 people a day can now be tested for Coronavirus. Previously that number was 1.000 a day. The current stock of test kits is guaranteed to last 14 days, according to the Danish Regions.

  • The government lowers the threshold for economical help to business owners, the compensation covers business owners with an income minimum of 10.000 kroner per month.

  • The Minister for Business, Simon Kollerup, wants to find a majority in the Parliament, to allow larger supermarkets to keep partially open during the Easter.

  • A possible medicine against COVID-19 is gonna be tested in Denmark. The drug in question is Remdesivir, and 12 patients will be tested in Aalborg, Aarhus, Copenhagen, Odense, Hillerød, Hvidovre and Roskilde. 440 patients will be tested worldwide, 200 in Europe, and hereof 12 in Denmark.

  • The government will discuss future re-opening plans of the society with the parties in the Parliament next week.

  • Unemployed will not receive extra unemployment funds, as things are right now, according to Minister for Employment Peter Hummelgaard. It may come back on the table at a later point though.

  • New symptoms for the virus has been discovered. Several who have been infected, reports losing their ability to smell and taste while being sick. This seems to be the case for 2/3 of all infected.

  • Several mayors around the country are discussing the possibility to reopen the recycling stations around the country.

  • The initiatives taken also works against the common flu – there are 70 % fewer cases of the common flue, than normally at this time of the year, and also fewer people hospitalised with an infection.

NEW TEST METHOD (for technical details on the new test method, contact me, or read here (Danish): https://ekstrabladet.dk/nyheder/politik/danskpolitik/overlaege-opfinder-coronamirakel-som-at-koge-et-aeg/8068231)

The Danish Institute of Serum has announced the development of a new test method against COVID-19, which is a simple and quick alternative to the chemical reagents which labs are currently depending on, to prepare and test for COVID-19.

Translation of official press announcement: (original link: https://www.ssi.dk/aktuelt/nyheder/2020/03-ssi-loeser-stort-mangelproblem-ved-test-for-covid19-27032020)

Everywhere there is a desire to test far more for COVID19 virus than so far. However, several countries find that they lack the chemical reagents needed to test people. Now, however, there is good news from the State Serum Institute (SSI). SSI has developed and tested a simple and rapid method as an alternative to the chemical reagents that many laboratories today rely on to be able to pre-test and test for COVID19. The method is not as sensitive as the standard method used to pre-process samples. But it is considered that it has only a very small significance in the current situation. In order to spread the method as quickly as possible, SSI has chosen to publish it online (link will come later) and per email to the colleagues at laboratories around Europe, so that other laboratories at home and abroad can freely use it. At the same time, on March 26, 2020, SSI will hold meetings with Denmark’s clinical microbiology departments regarding the method. The hope is that the method will soon increase the test capacity. Not only in Denmark but also in other countries that are badly affected by COVID-19 and which experience a lack of reagents.


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