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Summary, 12.04.2020 - The confusion of sending children to school or not continues

No major announcements from the government or official authorities, but the entire debate regarding the reopening of schools and childcare-institutions continue.

TODAY'S BULLETS

  1. Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen made it clear today, that parents in a risk-group should not send their children to school in Copenhagen Municipality.

  2. However, the Danish Health Authority still maintains that children/staff from households with covid-19 infected people, or people in a risk-group, must still come to school, if not showing symptoms of covid-19 themselves. The person infected must self-isolate to the extent possible, and thorough cleaning must be done in the home.

  3. Roughly 35 % of Copenhagen's schools and childcare-institutions will be ready to reopen Wednesday. All parents of children attending institutions in Copenhagen will receive a letter through AULA or KbhBarn when their child's institution will reopen.

  4. About half of the country's municipalities announce that they will be ready to open schools and childcare-institutions Wednesday but in a gradual process.

  5. The Danish Health Authority understands why the parents might be worried, but ensures that the reopening is very controlled and that knowledge and data from abroad show, that there aren’t as many infected among children and that the illness generally only gives them mild symptoms.

Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen (Foto: Olafur Steinar Gestsson // Ritzau Scanpix)


INFORMATION REGARDING THE REOPENING OF SCHOOLS AND CHILDCARE-INSTITUTIONS

  • Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen made it clear today, that parents who might be in a risk-group should not send their children to school. Regarding staff who might be in a risk-group, he wouldn't put down some rigid rules. He believed the workplaces can figure out their own solutions.

  • 26 out of 69 public schools in Copenhagen Municipality will open Wednesday. The same is the case for 124 childcare-institutions or 35 % of all childcare-institutions. This was announced by Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen today. All parents in Copenhagen Municipality will receive a letter through AULA or KbhBarn, regarding when their child's institution or school is expected to reopen. All information regarding Copenhagen Municipality can be found here: www.kk.dk/corona-kk

  • In an announcement, Local Government Denmark (Kommunernes Landsforening) have informed of how many municipalities that are ready to open schools and childcare-institutions next week. 82 out of 98 municipalities have answered questions regarding schools, and 83 regarding childcare-institutions. For many of the municipalities, and particularly those, who open the 15th of April, it will be a gradual reopening, where some institutions or class-years will begin later than the first day of reopening.

Schools:

  • 15th of April: 46 municipalities.

  • 16th of April: 20 municipalities.

  • 17th of April: 3 municipalities.

  • 20th of April: 13 municipalities.

Childcare-institutions:

  • 15th of April: 52 municipalities.

  • 16th of April: 19 municipalities.

  • 17th of April: 0 municipalities.

  • 20th of April: 12 municipalities.


  • The Danish Health Authority explained in a press announcement why the reopening of younger classes and childcare institutions are the right place to begin the reopening of Denmark. “When (we) estimate that it is responsible to open up for these institutions, then it is due to the general development in our national epidemic, which seems to get a longer and not as violent course.” Furthermore, they add, knowledge and data from abroad show, that there aren’t as many infected among children and that the illness generally only gives them mild symptoms.

  • The Danish Health Authority made it clear, that children must go to school, even if there are people in particular risk groups in the household. “If there are patients in a risk group in the household, e.g. pregnant or people with immune defects, it won’t prevent the child from going to school. But there must, of course, be a particular focus on hygiene in these households.

  • Regarding adults, who are facing returning to work as teachers or social workers, the Danish Health Authority are asking patient organisations and health-professional organisations to work out descriptions of who are in a risk group and should take special precautions.

  • Head of the unit for prevention in the Danish Health Authority Niels Sandø doesn’t believe, that parents should be worried about sending their kids to school and institutions next week: “There are many who have been working, and are still doing so, across Easter to make everything ready for the kids. It won’t be so that we let everything open at once. It is only the 0th- to 5th grade that will go back to school. It is very controlled, and there are some very strict protocols, that must be followed”.

  • Head of the unit for prevention in the Danish Health Authority Niels Sandø can understand, that some parents are worried about sending their kids back to school: “Society has been shut down for a long time now, and when we reopen, you might wonder which mechanisms there are in place now? We have made some sharp guidelines about schools and childcare-institutions, as well as the organisation of them. And you must remember, that you don’t see as many infected among children, and those infected usually have milder courses of illness.” It is not part of the Danish Health Authority’s recommendations that children must stay home if corona-infection is present in their households: “It would be easier to say, that they should stay home if there was a covid-19 infection in the household, but children also need to get out,”. He highlighted that paediatricians have come together to work out a list of children, who must be extra careful. That list can be found here (Danish).

HEALTH-RELATED INFORMATION

  • 6.174 have tested positive, 178 more than yesterday (Since it is not everyone with symptoms of corona-virus who is being tested, the real amount of infected is estimated to be much higher).

  • 396 are hospitalized, 12 less than yesterday.

  • Of those 396, 104 are in intensive care, 2 less than yesterday.

  • Of those 104, 85 are in respirators, 5 less than yesterday.

  • 273 Corona-infected Danes have died, 13 more than yesterday.

  • 70.125 have been tested for corona-virus, with 6.174 positives (8.8 % positives)

  • 2.123 are reported as healthy again, after having been hospitalized with corona-virus, an increase of 168 from yesterday.

  • Common practitioners and special practitioners must increase their activity after Easter, according to the Danish Health Authority. This has also led to revised guidelines for the practitioners, in order to reflect the increased activity. "It is important to contact your doctor and not hold back if you are sick or have symptoms of other things than covid-19. It is important to react immediately on the symptoms you might have since it can have an impact on the potential course and treatment" said Camilla Rathcke, Head of Center. To continuously minimize the risk of infection the common practitioners must use phone- and video-consultations as much as possible, and use protective equipment to the extent deemed necessary. The doctor can also request patients to wear masks or wear one himself if doubt of covid-19 infection is present.

OTHER NEWS

  • Foreign citizens cannot enter the country at the moment to visit their spouses living in Denmark since it is not an acknowledgeable purpose according to the National Police. This is the case regardless of whether the spouse trying to get into Denmark is from an EU-country or from a non-EU country.

  • 7 health-related educations with vital importance for the society can reopen from the 15th of April for students in their last semester if the physical attendance is crucial for the students being able to finish their educations this summer. The institutions must also work out various plans for how to ensure proper hygiene, social distance etc. The educations are:

Universities:

  1. Medicine

  2. Dentistry

  3. Dental technician


University Colleges:

  1. Nurse

  2. Bioanalyst

  3. Midwife

  4. Radiographer

  • Roskilde Museum will collect reports from the corona-shutdown, so the future can see what life was like during the shutdown of Denmark. The museum would like to have reports from as many people as possible. The museum is also interested in objects that remind people of the crisis - e.g. the empty hand sanitizer, or the facial mask (roskildemuseum@romu.dk / +45 46 31 65 29).

  • Every fifth leader wants the employees to work more from home after the corona-crisis, shows results from a new poll made by the workers' union The Leaders (Lederne). Only 3 % says they want them to do less work from home. 69 % expect the amount of work from home will remain the same as before the crisis. 1.298 leaders have responded.

POLITICS

  • The business organisation Danish Business (Dansk Erhverv) has proposed seven new initiatives in a consumer-package. The goal with this package would be to increase demand and thereby recreate jobs in some of the industries, which are hard hit due to the corona-crisis. This includes hotels, restaurants, the transport sector and the private healthcare sector. Director for Dansk Erhverv, Brian Mikkelsen, said: "We are currently facing huge challenges - the numbers of unemployed are rising, and the turn-around are plummeting in many companies. We cannot do much about the consumption abroad, but we can stimulate domestic consumption, which we would do with this package. It is not the state, that must save the companies, it is the companies, that must save the national economy."

  1. Pay-out of the frozen holiday-money (100 billion kroner, 55 billion kroner after taxation), and the state are not allowed to collect the money from the companies before the employees go on retirement.

  2. Increased deduction for home-improvements (håndværkerfradraget) in 2020 and 2021 from 19.000 kroner to 40.000 kroner per year per person, and where it is also possible for people to deduct stays at hotels, visits to restaurants and amusement park visits.

  3. Free passage of the Great Belt Bridge, as well as free use of ferries to small islands, until the 31st of August. This would cost the state 710 million kroner, according to Dansk Industri.

  4. Full VAT-exemption for companies' restaurant visits

  5. More tasks must be moved from the public to the private healthcare sector

  6. Less VAT on inter alia chocolate and coffee, to minimize cross-border shopping when the border reopens.

  7. Move forward public procurements (i.e. of school books), and well as removing savings on private procurements.

  • The blue parties (Venstre, Dansk Folkeparti, Konservative, Nye Borgerlige and Liberal Alliance) have Sunday evening left negotiations with the Minister for Health, Magnus Heunicke, regarding a reopening of the healthcare system. The parties have in unity declared, that there is a lack of focus on the rights of the patients. The parties want a clear plan from the government regarding when the patients can again get treatments and surgeries done.

  • Venstre, de Radikale and SF encourage the government to change the guidelines regarding that children from a household with a covid-19 infected person should still come to school or childcare-institution. The parties believe that vulnerable and exposed people should be protected by ensuring that no child or adult comes to school or work if someone in the household is infected with covid-19. The Minister for Children and Education Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil had no comments to DR, but the Ministry referred to that it is the Danish Health Authority who are behind the guidelines. The Danish Health Authority informed DR, that they have no current plans of revising the guidelines, but that they follow the situation closely.

  • Venstre encourages the government to reopen Denmark's sports- and association communities, after concrete recommendations to do so by the Danish health authorities. According to Venstre's sports-spokesman Sten Knuth, the Danes are hungering for coming back out in the communities which they have had to be without due to the corona-crisis.

  • The Danish Commissioner for Competition and Executive Vice-President for the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, believes that the EU Member States should purchase stockholdings in their own companies, in order to meet threats from Chinese takeovers of important European firms during the corona-crisis.

  • The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said today to the German newspaper Bild, that it may be necessary for elderly people to stay inside until a vaccine has been found. "Without a vaccine, we must limit contact with the elderly as much as possible." She acknowledged that isolation is difficult, but that "when it is a matter of life or death, we must remain disciplined and patient."




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