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Summary, 20.04.2020 - Everybody showing symptoms of coronavirus must now be tested

Today there was a press conference with the faces of the health authorities. The Danish strategy against the virus has once again been changed, so that we must now test much more extensively than before, in order to support the reopening of the country, by finding and breaking infection chains. Furthermore, Kåre Mølbak spoke out about his quote from yesterday. According to him, the quote was angled very sharply and was one of several scenarios for the coronavirus' development in Denmark. New general guidelines for the citizens will come out Tuesday.

TODAY'S BULLETS

  1. The test capacity will be expanded to the extent that everybody showing symptoms must be tested.

  2. The reopening is linked to doing more tests, in order to track infection chains. This will be crucial when reopening society more and more.

  3. Kåre Mølbak said that it is not a truism that it will take a year before we can return to normal conditions with less physical distance. It was just one of several scenarios he mentioned when he was interviewed by Berlingske: “The angling was very sharp on my quote,” he said.

  4. The Danish Health Authority will present new guidelines to the citizens Tuesday.

  5. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has written on Twitter that Danes stranded in Spain can get home using Atlantic Travel, with planned commercial departures from Alicante to Copenhagen (25.4), and Malaga to Stockholm (27.4). Tickets can be bought here.

  6. The Minister of Social Affairs and the Interior Astrid Krag suggests allocating 10 million kroner to lonely disabled during the corona-crisis.

Foto: Niels Christian Vilmann/Ritzau Scanpix


PRESS CONFERENCE WITH SEVERAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES

PRESENT

  • Minister of Health and the Elderly - Magnus Heunicke

  • Director for the Danish Health Authority - Søren Brostrøm

  • Director for the State Serum Institute - Kåre Mølbak


Summary

  • The test capacity will be expanded to the extent that everybody showing symptoms must be tested.

  • The reopening is linked to doing more tests, in order to track infection chains. This will be crucial when reopening society more and more.

  • There will be many false negatives when even people with mild symptoms will be tested.

  • Antibody-tests will also be done, and they will be of better quality than the tests that have been used until now.

  • Kåre Mølbak said that it is not a truism that it will take a year before we can return to normal conditions with less physical distance. It was just one of several scenarios he mentioned when he was interviewed by Berlingske: “The angling was very sharp on my quote,” he said.

  • Singles can still meet and have sex, as long as they are practising safe sex.

  • The Danish Health Authority will present new guidelines to the citizens Tuesday.


Details

  • The test capacity will be expanded to the extent that everybody showing symptoms must be tested. If you are showing symptoms, you must contact your own practitioner or the emergency doctor on the phone, from where you will get a referral to be tested.

  • As part of the reopening of Denmark, there has been put up white tents in all the Regions of the country, where Danes can be tested. Currently, these are in the pilot phase, but they will afterwards become a fixed part of the corona-strategy.

  • The reopening is linked to doing more tests, which will play a key part,” said Magnus Heunicke. This can e.g. be used to allow people to visit elderly family members who are living in nursing homes.

  • There will be many false negatives when even people with mild symptoms will be tested.

  • Antibody-tests will also be done, and they will be of better quality than the tests that have been used until now.

  • The Danish strategy is still a softening strategy. The goal is to get through the epidemic without the healthcare system breaking, and testing and finding infection chains will be crucial in this strategy. It won’t stop the epidemic, but hopefully, it makes it get to a level that can be handled. “The goal is still the same, but the tools we are using will change over time,” said Kåre Mølbak, and emphasized that tracking infection chains will be crucial when reopening the society more and more.

  • Kåre Mølbak said that he cannot say whether a vaccine will be developed, but a lot of studies are focusing on finding one. There is a clear expectation of developing a vaccine, and it is expected to be ready within a year, he said.

  • Kåre Mølbak said that it is not a truism that it will take a year before we can return to normal conditions with less physical distance. It was just one of several scenarios he mentioned when he was interviewed by Berlingske: “The angling was very sharp on my quote,” he said, and clarified that it doesn't necessarily mean that the corona-virus will develop this way: "It might also develop into a bit of a dud. It might loosen its grip on the Danish population." (The journalist behind the story says that all quotes were approved by Kåre Mølbak before they were published, and the journalist can stand behind the angling of the story - see here, red.)

  • Magnus Heunicke couldn’t say whether the older pupils can return to school before the summer break. It depends on the recommendations from the health authorities, as well as the negotiations with the parties in the Parliament.

  • Magnus Heunicke cannot give an end date, where the Danes can return to normal everyday life: “If there is something, we have learned the last months, it will be that the epidemic is unpredictable. Everything is about reacting quickly, due diligence and working with different scenarios.

  • Singles can still meet and have sex, as long as they are practising safe sex. This was clarified by the Danish Health Authority and Kåre Mølbak.

  • The Danish Health Authority will present new guidelines to the citizens Tuesday.

HEALTH-RELATED INFORMATION

  • 7.384 have tested positive, 142 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).

  • 319 are hospitalized, 2 more than yesterday.

  • Of those 319, 84 are in intensive care, 3 less than yesterday.

  • Of those 84, 73 are in respirators, 3 less than yesterday.

  • 355 Corona-infected Danes have died, 9 more than yesterday.

  • 94.277 have been tested for corona-virus, with 7.384 positives (7.8 % positives)

  • 4.141 are reported as healthy again, after having been hospitalized with corona-virus, an increase of 294 from yesterday.

  • An association of 108 Chinese restaurant-owners in Denmark has donated 66.000 facial masks to the Health and Care Administration in Copenhagen municipality. “When we heard that there is a lack of protective equipment in Copenhagen, we decided to make a collection through the Chinese version of Facebook. We have to look out for each other in Denmark, and we are part of Denmark. Nurses and social workers are saving lives, but they must not risk their lives by simply doing their job,” says Peter Chou Lin, spokesman for the 108 restaurant-owners.

  • The Danish Safety Technology Agency (Sikkerhedsstyrelsen) has according to DR discarded 25 % of the facial masks they have controlled, equivalent to 5 million masks ordered and received by the Regions, out of 20 million.

  • A new cooperation between Aarhus University Hospital and the Aarhus-located biotech company BioXpedia, located on the other side of the road, means that the test capacity of the hospital will be doubled to roughly 2.400 daily tests for coronavirus. The first tests in the new cooperation will begin Wednesday.

  • 9 employees at the psychiatric emergency ward in Vordingborg has been tested positive with coronavirus, and therefore the ward has to shut down. “We are currently testing all the staff to get an overview of the situation,” says Søren Bredkjær, Vice Director in the Psychiatry in Region Sjælland. All 40 employees will now be tested, and the patients in the ward will be moved to other wards.

  • A Dane has lost his ability to taste and smell, after having been infected with corona. The person is a Danish doctor in his 30ies. ”There have been many reports from around the world that patients lose their ability to taste and smell after having been infected with corona-virus, but it is the first time that we can (in Denmark, red.) confirm this with tests on a patient,” says Alexander Wieck Fjældstad, responsible for this test and doctor at the Flavour-clinic in Holstebro and lector at the Institute for Clinical Medicine at Aarhus University. In the article from videnskab.dk, it is written that a study of 59 corona-infected patients in Italy showed that around 1/3 experienced the loss of either the ability to taste, smell or both. We don’t know yet whether this loss is permanent.

  • The Association for Depressed is launching a new initiative called “Danmark Lytter” (Denmark Listens), an online community where people having a hard time in these times can get in contact with each other, even if they cannot meet physically.

OTHER NEWS

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has written on Twitter that Danes stranded in Spain can get home using Atlantic Travel, with planned commercial departures from Alicante to Copenhagen (25.4), and Malaga to Stockholm (27.4). Tickets can be bought here.

  • 30.000 people are hired in the seven groups of businesses that can reopen today, according to numbers from Statistics Denmark:

- Dentists: 12.844

- Hairdressers: 7.732

- Opticians: 3.800

- Physio- and ergo therapists: 4.489

- Chiropractors: 1.432

- Psychologists: 1.107


  • Danske Bank’s management has orientated the general assembly for their stockholders that they encourage to not pay out dividends to their stockholders for 2019. The stockholders were supposed to receive 7.3 billion kroner in total. The management substantiates this decision with the “economic situation in the society related to the covid-19 pandemic.” This decision comes after the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finanstilsynet) recommended the banks to not pay out dividends, due to the crisis, and after the authorities have eased the demands of how much money the banks must have lying ready, in order to loan more money to needing companies.

  • Blue Cross Denmark is preparing to reopen the organisation’s 53 recycling-shops from the 27th of April – next Monday. “In Blue Cross, we have a lot of focus on following the demands and recommendations from the authorities. We are therefore very aware of doing the reopening in a way, where safety and security for the volunteers and our customers are prioritized. We won’t take any risks of increasing the infection spread in our shops, but we do also believe that we can now reopen in a safe, secure and controlled fashion,” says Head of Communication in Blue Cross Denmark, Thomas Røddik Korneliussen. He also informs that the organisation has suffered economical losses during the shutdown.

  • The Great Run across the Great Belt Bridge (Broløbet) has been moved to the 19th of September, instead of the 20th of June. More than 10.000 have signed up.

  • The Danish Executive Board for Business Development and Growth (Danmarks Erhvervsfremmebestyrelsen) is allocating 86 million kroner to the development of competences in small and medium-sized companies. The focus will be particularly on the situation that is waiting on the other side of the coronavirus. Up towards 1.000 companies can benefit from these 86 million, according to the executive board. “We are in a very serious situation with dropping revenue and gloomy economic prognoses. It is absolutely crucial that we strengthen our employees’ competences, so they become more productive and contribute to the strength of our economy – also in the time after covid-19. It is a core-task for the executive board to help the companies with this,” says Jakob Friis, chairman for the Executive board.

  • Monday morning the first flight in weeks left from Aalborg Airport towards Copenhagen. Onboard were 14 passengers.

  • Ironman Copenhagen has been pushed to the 22nd of August 2021 due to the corona-epidemic. The original date was the 16th of August this year.

POLITICS

  • The Minister of Social Affairs and the Interior Astrid Krag suggests allocating 10 million kroner to lonely disabled during the corona-crisis: “The corona-crisis has been hard to all of us, but there is no doubt, that there are some particular citizens that have been paying an extra high price, in order for us to be able to fight the infection spread.

  • Det Radikale Venstre is asking the government to put forward a holistic plan for how Denmark will get out of the corona-crisis. Party leader Morten Østergaard says: “Denmark needs a strategy for the reopening, which contains a goal, a test strategy and a plan for how to remove the restrictions.” This follows Kåre Mølbak’s announcement in Berlingske that the population must expect to have to keep social distance for at least a year.

  • A large majority of the EU-countries have signed a declaration-in-progress, which says that climate and environment must be central in the EU’s plan for economic recovery after the corona-crisis. 17 Ministers have signed, from countries that make up 75 % of the EU’s population. Denmark has been one of the driving forces in the drafting of the declaration.

  • The European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, says in an interview with the German ‘Der Spiegel’ that a help-package of around 1.500 billion euro, or ca. 11.000 billion kroner, might be necessary to soften the worst consequences of the corona-crisis. “The Euro-group has proposed support of around 500 billion euro to the economy, the healthcare system, part-time-work and to the small and medium-sized companies. This leaves around 1.000 billion euro. That is approximately the scale we are dealing with right now,” he says.



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