Today came the announcement that many have been waiting for. Many small companies and businesses will be allowed to reopen Monday if they can respect and follow the guidelines regarding hygiene, space, etc. Apart from that, there is quite a few minor news that might be interesting from a 'nice-to-know'-perspective. Oh, and the ban on gathering more than 10 people in public will be in effect until at least the 11th of May.
The government and a broad majority in the Parliament have agreed to let certain types of businesses open Monday, based on calculations and recommendations by the Danish health authorities. See the list for further details.
The Prime Minister did two interviews with DR and TV2. Very briefly, she said we have been doing really well for the last 5 weeks in Denmark. But we must do the reopening in a responsible manner so that we don't risk everything we have achieved so far, by going forward too fast.
The government and the parties of the parliament also agreed last night, that the health authorities must put forward an actual strategy for corona-virus testing, that will test much more, including healthcare staff and a representative section of the population.
Corona doesn’t cause more Danish deaths than normally.
The ban on gathering more than 10 people in public has been extended until the 11th of May.
The upcoming app to track infection won’t work in iPhones, due to a particular safety-feature on the phones.
REOPENING OF CERTAIN TYPES OF BUSINESSES MONDAY
The government and a broad majority in the Parliament have agreed to let certain types of businesses open Monday, based on calculations and recommendations by the Danish health authorities, primarily the State Serum Institute. These calculations have been made to look at what can reopen safely from a health-perspective, without risking an overwhelming increase of cases in the healthcare system.
The following types of businesses are allowed to open, if not located in shopping centres:
Tattoo- and piercing shops
The dental sector – including clinical tooth technicians, dentists and dental hygienists
The hearing sector
Private hospitals and clinics
Beauty- and massage clinics
Places that cannot open yet, are:
Public cultural institutions, churches and after-school institutions
Places where food, drinks or tobaccy are sold with the aim to consume it on the location
Shopping centres, big stores, arcades and bazaars
Places where sports- and free time activities are done, including arcade-game-alleys, play- and bath-lands, swimming pools, gyms, theatres and cinemas
There's still a lot of unanswered questions related to guidelines and rules for reopening the shops, so expect a lot more details and technicalities to be worked out during the weekend!
INTERVIEWS WITH THE PRIME MINISTER
The Prime Minister conducted several interviews with TV2 and DR. Below is a series of quotes/summaries of her points in these interviews:
It can become necessary to go backwards and implement either new or old restrictions if we don't continue to hold on and follow the guidelines.
We cannot start slacking on our good habits, then we risk getting back into the red curve. The political decisions must be made based on health-professional recommendations, but they cannot give us a completely accurate answer since we are stepping on new territory - covid-19 is a completely new and unknown disease. We must not get too cocky, because then we risk everything.
The health authorities are saying in their recommendations that efterskoler and højskoler cannot be recommended to reopen because there are too many people gathered in very small spaces.
The special thing about this disease is that it infects a lot, but only if we are close to each other. We have been doing really well for the last 5 weeks in Denmark. We have gotten the disease under control, and we are one of the few countries that can even think of discussing a reopening. But we must do everything in a responsible manner so that we don't risk everything we have achieved so far, by going forward too fast. And we cannot allow that to happen, neither from a health perspective nor from an economical perspective.
I am first and last focusing on jobs, I must underline this. It has to be justifiable from a health-perspective, but wise from an economic perspective. Our guideline as government is to get even more back to work, and preferably as many as possible, but it must be done in the right order, and be justifiable from a health-perspective.
It is up to the industries and the health authorities to figure out how to obey and respect the rules for hygiene.
7.073 have tested positive, 194 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).
350 are hospitalized, 3 less than yesterday.
Of those 350, 93 are in intensive care, 1 more than yesterday.
Of those 93, 74 are in respirators, 2 more than yesterday.
336 Corona-infected Danes have died, 15 more than yesterday.
87.024 have been tested for corona-virus, with 7.073 positives (8.1 % positives)
3.389-3.023 are reported as healthy again, after having been hospitalized with corona-virus, an increase of 366 from yesterday.
The government and the parties of the parliament also agreed last night, that the health authorities must put forward an actual strategy for corona-virus testing. The strategy must include testing of front-row employees, relatives as well as vulnerable groups. Furthermore, a representative section of the population must be tested as well, so the development in the corona-virus outbreak can be monitored.
The divestment of the Danish vaccine-factory underneath the State Serum Institute back in 2016 for 15 million kroner to a Saudi Arabian family dynasty can turn out to be a catastrophic deal for Denmark. The fact that we don't have a national vaccine-production, but instead have to rely on procuring vaccines from abroad or from private actors can be a real headache. Already back in 2004, the Danish National Audit Office (Rigsrevisionen) warned heavily against selling the national vaccine production, since a pandemic could lead to issues getting fingers on a vaccine if we weren't behind the production ourselves. A similar warning was given in 2011.
Corona doesn’t cause more Danish deaths than normally. 4.794 Danes have died since the first Danish corona-related case of death was noted on the 14th of March, which is roughly equivalent to the same amount last year, and the year before that, according to numbers from Statistics Denmark.
According to new numbers from Region Hovedstaden, 4.1 % of the healthcare staff in the region has been infected with corona-virus. The staff have been able to do a simple test, by taking a single drop of blood and test it for antibodies.
Rigshospitalet is shutting down its intensive care-ward for corona-patients, due to a huge drop in severe hospitalizations with corona-virus. The shutdown is temporary, to increase the activity in other areas of the hospital. The ward can be quickly reopened if the need arises again.
The ban on gathering more than 10 people in public has been extended until the 11th of May. It was originally supposed to expire tomorrow, the 18th of April. This extension was announced by the Ministry of Health.
The Danish courts will reopen the 27th of April, according to the Danish Court Administration. They estimate that 75 % of all cases can be completed. At first, the courts will focus on criminal proceedings and civilian cases – including family proceedings.
The upcoming app to track infection won’t work in iPhones, due to a particular safety-feature on the phones. “The great challenge is that you cannot register contacts with iPhones today because the operative system is designed to cut off the app’s connection to Bluetooth when you are not actively using the app or the phone,” says Director in the Agency for Digitisation Rikke Zeberg. This means, that when the phone is in the pocket, it forces the app to go into hibernation, and therefore it cannot register who a citizen is close to. Apple is aware of this issue but has refused to comment on the criticism from the authorities.
Do you want to stay fully updated, or do you have any questions? Go to www.facebook.com/coronaindenmark, if you wish to be notified when I do live translations of selected press conferences, be notified when these summaries are posted, or if you have questions related to the Coronavirus in Denmark. The audio is in collaboration with ivoice.dk (If you wish to participate in a discussion you are welcome to join the speaker's podcast)