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Summary, 24.04.2020 - Kåre Mølbak: Stop gathering in public, or we lose the last month's efforts!

Today the Director of the State Serum Institute scolded the Danes that have been meeting the last days in various popular spots in Copenhagen, Aarhus and other major cities. If this continues, we might lose everything we've achieved so far, he said. Apart from that, we now know that 1/3 of all Danish deaths with coronavirus have happened to people living in retirement homes. We also learned that the suspension of the handshake is actually not actual law yet, but needs to be processed in the Parliament, as usually. Parents are feeling safe about sending their kids to school, we have joined an alliance of other countries that have handled the corona-crisis well, and we will again start to take convicted criminals in to serve their punishment, after more than a month's pause.

TODAY'S BULLETS

  1. Kåre Mølbak warned today that Denmark is risking losing the entire last month’s efforts directly down the drain if people continue gathering in public like we have seen the last few days.

  2. A new report from the State Serum Institute shows that almost 1/3 of all cases of deaths with covid-19 in Denmark is happening to people living in retirement homes.

  3. The suspension of the handshake at the citizenship ceremonies has not become actual law yet, given that the Minister of Immigration and Integration does not have the authority to decide upon such actions on his own.

  4. Four out of five parents (80 %) are feeling safe about sending their kids to school or in childcare institutions, according to a new poll made by Megafon on behalf of TV2.

  5. Denmark has joined a corona-alliance for small countries that have been handling the corona-crisis well. Apart from Denmark and Austria are the Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore in the alliance.

  6. The Probation Service (Kriminalforsorgen) will again call in people to serve their sentence. Convicted have not been called in since the 12th of March.

People gathering at Islands Brygge / Screenshot from TV2.dk

POLITICS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • The suspension of the handshake at the citizenship ceremonies has not become actual law yet, given that the Minister of Immigration and Integration does not have the authority to decide upon such actions on his own. This was made clear by his ministry today. The suspension must still be processed thrice in the Parliament, as is custom before it can enter into effect. Vordingborg municipality had already held a citizenship ceremony Wednesday, without the handshake, for seven people. They are de facto still not Danish citizens, despite the ceremony. The municipality had not read the letter from the ministry through and had, therefore, missed the part saying that it is a proposal that must first be processed in the Parliament.

  • Denmark has joined a corona-alliance for small countries that have been handling the corona-crisis well. The alliance was formed by the Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz. “It is a really good company for Denmark to have been invited into. And important – not at least in the long run. These are some of the countries that have very quickly and effectively reacted to the corona-crisis,” says Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. Apart from Denmark and Austria are the Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore in the alliance. The cooperation is about exchanging ideas about opening scenarios, the question of the right test strategy as well as the use of technology to track infection chains.

  • Enhedslisten is proposing a whistle-blower-solution, where employees can report if they have a suspicion of fraud with the help-packages created by the Parliament due to the corona-crisis.

  • The Danish Islamic Faith Community (Dansk Islamisk Trossamfund) is asking for permission to call to prayer from mosques, now where the Danish Muslims are not supposed to meet during Ramadan. The open letter has been sent to the Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs, the Minister of Immigration and Integration, as well as several mayors. The calls are supposed to not be heard more than 10 meters away, as a sort of moral support to the Muslims that cannot meet now physically. That way it would only be the by-passers that can hear the call.

  • The Danish Association for Travel Agencies (Danmarks Rejsebureau Forening) reports that if there doesn’t come more help from the politicians, there will be mass bankruptcies for these agencies in the nearest future: “Some agencies have the capital to continue their companies for only a few more weeks, while the majority have told our association that they can continue for a couple of months more.” In a poll, 80 % of the association’s members have said that they will run into issues with capital within one to three months. Their customers will be guaranteed payback through the Travel Guarantee Fund (Rejsegarantifonden) if the companies go bankrupt.

HEALTH-RELATED INFORMATION

  • 8.210 have tested positive, 137 more than yesterday (Expect large dark numbers due to that we haven't been testing everyone with symptoms from the start, ed.).

  • 320 are hospitalized, 1 more than yesterday.

  • Of those 320, 69 are in intensive care, 5 less than yesterday.

  • Of those 69, 58 are in respirators, 3 less than yesterday.

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

  • 125.329 have been tested for corona-virus, with 8.210 positives (6.55 % positives), a drop of 0.35 % from yesterday (We are testing more, so we are also finding more non-infected, ed.)

  • 5.526 are reported as healthy again, after having been hospitalized with corona-virus, an increase of 142 from yesterday.

  • Denmark is risking losing the entire last month’s efforts directly down the drain if people continue gathering in public like we have seen the last few days. This was the message by Kåre Mølbak, Director in the State Serum Institute. He scolds the Danes and encourages them to remember to keep up the good habits with physical distance, proper handwash habits, as well as the isolation we have all been doing.

  • A new report from the State Serum Institute shows that almost 1/3 of all cases of deaths with covid-19 in Denmark is happening to people living in retirement homes. 425 residents from 88 retirement homes have been tested positive, and there have been 133 cases of death. The latest number of Danish deaths with covid-19 is 403. The Minister of the Elderly Magnus Heunicke calls this a severe tendency, and calls the parties political spokesmen on the elderly to consultation, in order to debate how the infection risk can be kept low in retirement homes, as well as on how to prevent loneliness.

  • 11 white tents will be put up around the country, after good initial experiences with the five tents that were put up in each region. There are now tents in Aalborg, Odense, Aarhus, Næstved and Copenhagen, and there will be raised new tents in Hjørring, Thisted, Viborg, Herning, Esbjerg, Kolding, Roskilde, Ballerup, Hillerød, Hvidovre and somewhere on Bornholm. The tents are crucial in order to track the infection in Danish society, according to the Minister of Health and the Elderly, Magnus Heunicke.

  • The Danish Health Authority has updated its guidelines for the use of protective equipment in the healthcare or nursing sector. Employees working with particularly vulnerable groups must, as a rule of thumb, wear a visor or a mask when having long or frequent close contact with citizens or patients face-to-face, if the close contact cannot be avoided. “In a transitional period with an increased infection pressure and a large susceptibility in the population, we recommend, from a principle of carefulness, to use extra measures to protect against infection from people showing no symptoms,” says Director for the Danish Health Authority Søren Brostrøm.

  • All patients in Region Hovedstaden will from the coming weekend be tested for coronavirus, whether they are hospitalised or showing up for planned surgery. “If you have to be at a hospital for a day or more, we will test you for covid-19. We probably will not find a lot, but if there are some with covid-19, then we will ask them to go home and relax for the coming week. A home-isolation,” says the Concern Director for Region Hovedstaden Svend Hartling. On average there are 2.000 patients on the hospitals in the region.

  • The Ebola-drug Remdesivir does not have a mentionable effect on coronavirus, according to a leaked report from the WHO. The study was done with 237 patients, where 158 got Remdesivir, and 70 got placebo medicine. However, the Danish professor in infectious diseases Jens Lundgren makes it clear, that it is way too early to establish whether the drug has an effect on corona-patients or not. He criticizes the WHO for creating insecurity in a severe situation with this leak.

  • The Regional Hospital Randers is shutting down its corona-ward, due to a lack of corona-infected. “The curve of covid-19-patients is going downwards faster than we anticipated, and we are of course happy for that. We were expecting a sprint, but it is more likely a marathon,” says the Director of the hospital.

  • An elementary school teacher at Søndermarksskolen in Slagelse has tested positive for covid-19. The teacher has with guarantee been in contact with two classes on the school, 5.c and 3.a. Four of the teacher’s colleagues will be tested as well, just in case. The teaching will continue as planned, according to school leader Henrik Hallig.

  • 4.1 % of the health staff in Region Hovedstaden has been infected with the coronavirus. This number has been found through elaborate screening and is corresponding almost exactly to the level of infected in the population, found through the screening of blood donors.

  • All employees in the Probation Service (Kriminalforsorgen) can now take a test for the coronavirus, even if they do not have symptoms.

OTHER NEWS

  • Four out of five parents (80 %) are feeling safe about sending their kids to school or in childcare institutions, according to a new poll made by Megafon on behalf of TV2. 15 % are keeping their kids home from school though, while 21 % are keeping their kids home from the childcare institution.

  • The Probation Service (Kriminalforsorgen) will again call in people to serve their sentence. Convicted have not been called in since the 12th of March. “We are now ready to call in the first convicted people, and it will happen gradually, in a justifiable way from a health perspective. We need a probation service with the least possible infection spread, so our convicts and employees can be safe,” says Director Lykke Sørensen.

  • The travel agency TUI admits that they have been stalling paying back the many customers that have gotten their holiday plans ruined because of the corona-pandemic. The Head of Press Relations Mikkel Hansen explains that the company have been waiting for the guidelines on how they can apply for compensation through the Travel Guarantee Fund (Rejsegarantifonden). The company didn’t want to risk losing out on any compensation: “This is also about that it could have turned out to be dangerous to pay out too much money at once, if we later found out, that we shouldn’t have done so,” he says. The paybacks have begun after Easter and will be prioritised after the earliest travel date.

  • The more than 760 Danish companies with daughter companies in the USA can also benefit from the help package of 484 billion dollars (3.4 trillion kroner), which the House of Representatives agreed upon during the night. “Several Danish companies in the USA also applied for the original pool, but unfortunately not everyone got through before the pool was empty. Now Danish companies get a new opportunity to get help to cover their running costs, which makes it possible for them to keep their employees in a difficult time,” says Louis Funder, Head of Danish Industry’s office in the USA.

  • The ferry between Aarhus and Odden is going to double their capacity on the route so that two ferries are sailing Monday. More passengers are starting to use the route, and therefore there is a need for an extra ferry, in order to fulfil the space requirements between the passengers.



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