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COVID-19 in english

Latest news about COVID-19 from the Health Department and the Danish Government in english.

The Parliament extends the lockdown of the country till 13 April 2020

Press conference in the The Prime Minister department 23 March 2020 3 PM.

The Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen extends the Corona initiative and all other initiatives regarding the virus until the 13 April 2020.

254 infected are admitted to hospital and 55 are in intensive and 24 citizens have lost their life to the Coronavirus.

The initiatives decided by the Parliament will continue on. The main goal is to prevent a large number of citizens become seriously ill simultaneously. Therefore, the Parliament extends the lockdown till the 13. April 2020. 

The Prime Minister underlines the importance of following the rules and keeping a certain distance to each other. Especially during the Easter holidays. The Prime Minister requests that all citizens should not travel, even if it is intended to travel to other parts of Denmark.

Families must make use of the emergency care taking of their children. The Prime Minister are sure of that resources are strong. There is also room at the shelters for the homeless. They are also given the possibility to isolate themselves, if they become infected.


The Danish National Health Service is currently working on to improve the capacity of the treatments.  South Korea has been contacted regarding the offer on new test kits for COVID-19 which The Parliament at first neglected, but will now take the offer with open arms.

To finish, the minister of health underlines that any offer to help will be welcomed. If you are interested to help as a citizen, please consider to visit the website Coronasmitte.dk. On the website, in the section “Danmark hjælper Danmark” it is possible to seek help and get an estimation of offered help.


Advice regarding COVID-19 from Sundhedsstyrelsen

What to do if you find yourself having a dry cough, fever or breathing
problems/restrictions?

If you experience these symptoms, which can indicate one being infected with COVID-19, you must follow these steps, even if you experience minor indications of being infected:

  • Immediately go home and stay home. Regardless if you are at work or anywhere else.
  • Avoid close contact with others. Try to make others do your groceries.
  • Keep your distance from other people in same household.
  • Stay in different rooms.
  • Frequent cleaning of the toilet, bath and kitchen. Also the room shared with others in the household.
  • If possible, make sure you clean by yourself, to minimize the danger of infection.
  • Use ordinary cleaning articles and be extra thorough on places and surfaces that are frequent touched e.g. door handles, sockets, outlets and coffee machines.
  • Air out at least twice during the day, at least for 10 minutes each time.
  • Stay clear of vulnerable people, meaning elderly, infants and the chronic ill.
  • You are considered as non-infectious 48 hours after signs of the symptoms disappear.
  • If in doubt, it is advised to stay home an extra day or two.

When to contact your local doctor?

  • If you experience serious symptoms as pains, fever, uneasiness and breathing problems or if your symptoms worsens, you must contact your doctor or use the danish emergency number to call a doctor.
  • Parents must contact a doctor, if their child/children experience breathing problems e.g. rapid, shallow, weak, apathetic or absent breathing. Also if the child experience cold, pale or blue-ish skin or experience remarkable cold hands and feet.
  • WIth infants the parents must be specifically attentive on visible troubles with breathing, coughing, rapid or suspensive breathing. Also keep an eye on affected general condition e.g.
    tiredness or weakness, irritability, lack of suckling desire, increasing tendency to retch and dry diapers. Also if the infant’s temperature is over 37,5 degrees celsius or under 36,0 measured in the rectum.

Is it possible to be tested for COVID-19?

  • COVID-19 is examined from a test sample which comes from the trachea. Samples from the throat by a cotton wool swab is also possible.
  • If one experience minor or small signs of symptoms and can take care of yourself isolated at home, a test for COVID-19 will not be necessary , due to the fact that it does not change the precautions.
  • Patients with serious or worsened symptoms, or patients categorised as specifically vulnerable can be recommended by their local doctor to be examined at a COVID-19 admission ward, to then be considered to be tested for COVID-19.
  • Personnel who perform critical functions, e.g. at the health care sector or in the elderly care, can also, even with minor symptoms, be tested if their manager estimates it is important that the employee returns to work as quickly as possible.

The Danish National Health Service general acvice for all citizens:

  • If you are in good health – protect yourself to potentially protect others.
  • Follow the advice on washing hands and hand sanitizing. Show consideration and limit physical contact and social activities.
  • If you have a cough, mildt fever or a running nose – Stay home isolated till you get better.
  • Keep a certain distance to your loved one and avoid contact with others outside your home.
  • If you experience breathing problems, worsening of symptoms or feel ill over several days, call your local doctor.
  • It is critical that you call the doctor’s office before showing up and wait in the waiting room which can potentially infect others.
  • New Coronavirus spreads typically on places where a lot of people are gathered and it spreads through greetings and handshakes. It spreads via small drops from coughing and sneezing.
  • Protect yourself and others with these precautions.
  • We recommend you to register at Influmeter.dk at Statens Serum Institut to contribute to the monitoring of the flu and COVID-19 in Denmark.

Pregnant women with symptoms for Coronavirus must be tested before childbirth.

On the 19th of March, The Danish National Health Service has presented new guidelines regarding dealing with COVID-19 ill pregnant and in labour women, their partner and the newborn child/children. From now on, when pregnant women arrive at the hospital, they mustl be tested for coronavirus immediately.

If the test is positive, the personnel of nurses and doctors must take special precaution and equip themselves with masks and other necessary equipment. The pregnant one must also do so.

If any suspicion appears regarding the pregnant women being infected with COVID-19, she will be subject to a principle of cautiousness and will be treated as infected until result of the test comes back.

Also:

An infected partner can not be present at the childbirth. This is also valid when any suspicion about being infected appears.

An infected partner shall also keep away form the child until this person is symptom free in a period of 48 hours.

All hospitals urges to keep it at a minimum regarding relatives being present at the childbirth, meaning: only the partner of the woman in labour is allowed to be present, to reduce the potential of transmitting COVID-19.

In spite of the mother being infected with COVID-19, she will not be separated from the newborn child unless the mother is in a critical state that requires immediate medical attention.

If the mother is tested positive, but does not require immediate treatment, it is recommended to go back home in isolation as soon as possible. The mother will receive proper guidelines regarding the newborn child’s health etc.

Infected mothers shall breastfeed, but are recommended to wash their breasts with water and proper neutral soap and apply a mask, before breastfeeding. For this purpose, also regularly to wash and sanitize their hands as often as possible. 


Important scans will still be in effect e.g. nuchal folds etc.

One must expect and be prepared to possible cancellation of birth preparations. Midwife appointments will be by telephone.

The most necessary midwife visits and scans will be held as usual. As to be expected, the visits will only include the midwife and the mother to prevent potential infectiousness. 

Hospitals will conduct childbirth as usual. One shall not be in doubt, it is clearly stated and underlined that all women are welcome to come in and give birth.


A request to all citizens from Statens Serum Institut

Statens Serum Institut call upon all citizens to register at Influmeter, regarding the fight against the Coronavirus.

The Influmeter builds and depends upon your voluntary effort as a citizen, regardless if you have sought out medical treatment or already have had medical treatment, to report back weekly if you had any symptoms. This way, you will contribute to the knowledge about the spread of the Coronavirus in the country.

Everyone who lives in Denmark can participate in the Influmeter. Children, adults, elderly people, healthy and sick as well. You can register yourself and other people in the same household, in spite of the fact that you or others in same household have been sick, or just recently became ill.

All participants contributes with important and useful knowledge, regardless of your condition. Even if you are ill, or have been ill, or maybe about to become ill. Please do not hesitate to register. 

The department of infection epidemiology at Statens Serum Institut, monitors and prevents contagious illness’ in Denmark and is behind the development of Influmeter, which is a part of the collective illness monitoring related to influenza, colds, and COVID-19 symptoms.

To learn more, please visit Influmeter at: www.influmeter.dk


Summary of The Press Conference at The Prime Minister’s office held on the 17th March 2020

Participants: Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke, Director of the Health Council Søren Brostrøm, one from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and National Police Chief Torkild Fogde.

The Prime Minister starts by emphasizing the gravity of the situation by telling that, 82 are now hospitalized, 18 of which are in intensive care, the latter almost doubling in one day.  It is therefore important that we break the chain of infection.  New initiatives are therefore presented with effect from tomorrow 18th of March 10 pm until the 30th of March 2020.

  • Gatherings of more than 10 people, either indoors or outdoors, for public events are not permitted.  We advise you to adhere to this advice for private meetings also. 
  • Shops have more stringent requirements: there must be sufficient space between people, customers must keep a good distance from one another, and must be able to wash their hands – this applies both inside and outside.
  • All indoor sports and sports facilities must close, e.g.  Gyms, tanning salons, hairdressers, masseurs, tattoos: generally businesses with close contact.  This does not apply in the health care sector.
  • Nightclubs, hookah (shisha) cafes, bars, etc. must close.
  • All major malls, arcades and covered places must close – except grocery stores in centers.
  • All restaurants, cafes, etc. have to close – premises may still offer take away options. 
  • All Danes who come home from abroad must check themselves off The Danish List if they are registered on it and go on voluntary quarantine for 14 days.

In addition, Heunicke, Brorstrøm and Fogde all emphasized the seriousness of the situation, and that it is now that we must act if we are to reduce the consequences.  Nobody can give up their responsibility to follow the Ministry of Health’s recommendations, the Prime Minister stressed, especially with reference to the young people.

As a matter of principle, the Prime Minister suggested, that if you are in doubt a situation, for example, going to dinner at a friend’s house, and feel that your and other people’s health may be effected, just don’t go.  

The Prime Minister, again, thanked everyone who is part of the emergency and health services in the community.

In addition, the Prime Minister announced new relief packages, both for employees, self-employed persons and companies, to be negotiated as early as tomorrow between the parties of Parliament.

The police will be present more than usual to advise and guide the citizens.

The Foreign Ministry estimates that some Danes are stranded abroad; but encourages them to find a safe place to stay and Denmark will try to bring them home as soon as possible.


Advice on behavior in Denmark during Coronavirus

Like the rest of the world, Denmark is currently hit by an epidemic of Coronavirus. Different governments around the world have approached this problem in different ways, but the following advice is good to follow if you currently live in Denmark.

There are lots of different opinions on Coronavirus in Denmark and online. Even medical doctors and other experts hold different opinions. But since nobody knows how critical the situation might turn, our advice is that you stay on the safer side of all advice. We have done the same thing here.

The following list of advice is written based on the DR Q&A with Professor Thomas Benfield, Chief Physician of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Hvidovre Hospital as well as the advice on safe behaviour from the Danish Health Authority. There are some cases when specific pieces of advice from these sources might have different meanings. In those cases, we have chosen a cautious interpretation of the answer.

If you have any questions, you can call the Danish state corona hotline on +45 7020 0233. Notice that the hotline staff might not speak all languages, so it might be a good idea to get help from friends or family who are confident speakers of Danish or English when calling them.

DO’S AND DON’TS DURING THESE DAYS

Q: Should I stay home from work?
A: Yes, if at all possible. All office workers should stay at home unless you have critically important work – such as in the health care system or the police. All employers have been asked by the Danish government to let their employees work from home. It is your employer’s responsibility to make this happen – but do help make it work in any way you can.

Q: How much time can I spend outside?
A: As little as possible if there are other people around or nearby. There is no problem in going to your own garden or to go for a run in the park. But don’t go sit at restaurants, bars, or cafés.

Q: Can I invite my friends over for dinner?
A: Don’t. If any of you show any symptoms such coughing, fever, runny nose or any other normal symptoms of a cold or flu, they must stay at home.

Q: Should my kids stay home from school / kindergarten / nursery?

A: Yes. All schools and kindergartens will have been closed by now. But keep your children home from privately arranged childcare as well if there are other children there. Children transmit the disease as easily as adults do, but rarely come into any danger from the virus themselves. That is why it can be hard to see if children have been infected or not.

Q: May I visit my (elderly) parents?
A: You shouldn’t. Even if you are symptoms free, you could transmit the disease to them. If they have any kinds of diseases, are ill, or somehow weakened, you should definitely not visit them. If you and they are healthy and free of symptoms such as coughing, fever, runny nose or any other normal symptoms of a cold or flu, you could meet outdoors to decrease the risk of transmitting the virus.

Q: What should I do if I have any symptoms, but I told my parents I would take care of their grocery shopping for them?
A: If you have any symptoms such as coughing, fever, runny nose or any other normal symptoms of a cold or flu, you must stay at home. If you don’t have any symptoms, you could shop for them and leave the groceries outside their door or in the hallway. Obviously, your parents should wash their hands thoroughly after touching anything you have also touched. The virus can survive for up to 3 full days on surfaces you have touched.

Q: Can my (elderly) parents look after my kids?
A: They shouldn’t. If either you, your kids, or your parents show any symptoms, you must remain at home and not meet up. Children pick up the virus and transmit the disease easily, it is often hard to see that they are infected, and older people are in much greater risk of death or serious illness if infected. It is much better to wait for grandchildren and grandparents to get together safely again.

Q: Can I go shop at the supermarket?
A: Yes, but stick to the following guidelines: Do it as fast as possible, touch as little as possible, shop when there are few other people around, and remember to sanitize your hands when you have left the store – and wash them thoroughly when you get home.

Q: Can I go sit at a bar or café with my friends or just to work?
A: No. You don’t know who was sitting there right before you arrived, and no café or bar can clean everything perfectly all the time.

Q: Can I meet up with friends outdoors?
A: Yes, the authorities currently think you can. But stay further apart from each other than you normally would and don’t greet anyone with a hug or a handshake. Of course, if you or they have any symptoms such as coughing, fever, runny nose or any other normal symptoms of a cold or flu, you shouldn’t meet with anyone, but stay home. Leave if anyone has any symptoms. Remember to sanitize your hands during and right after – and wash them thoroughly when you get home.

Q: Can I use public transportation?
A: Not if you have any symptoms such as coughing, fever, runny nose or any other normal symptoms of a cold or flu. Even if you are symptoms-free, the cautious approach is not to use public transportation.

ABOUT THE DISEASE


Q: Does alcogel help protect against infection? What about normal soap?
A: Both are helpful. The best thing you can do is to wash your hands thoroughly – it works even better than alcogel or other sanitizers. Make it a habit to wash your hands thoroughly many times a day – and especially after touching anything or anyone.

Q: Is it true that it is better to cough into your elbow than into your hand?
A: Yes. You must cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, even if you don’t think you have been infected with Coronavirus. If you make sure not to use your hands to do so, your chances of infecting others is also much smaller.

Q: Are my kids in danger?
A: Everybody is potentially in danger, but worldwide there are very few recorded cases of critical illness in children due to the current type of Coronavirus. Luckily, children rarely get seriously ill with this type of disease, but adults can become very ill, and elderly people are in serious risk of death.

Q: Will the authorities soon offer testing for Coronavirus?
A: Not if you are healthy enough to stay at home. If you have symptoms such as coughing, fever, runny nose or any other normal symptoms of a cold or flu and you feel it is getting worse, you can call your own GP / assigned doctor (not the hospital) – they will make the call on whether you can stay at home or must go to the hospital for treatment. Even if your test comes out negative, you can get infected right after. That’s why tests are only used when treating patients in Denmark.

Q: How long does it take for symptoms to develop if I am infected?
A: It varies a lot. But it can take up to 10-12 days. Unfortunately, in that time you can infect others – without knowing it.

Q: How long will I stay ill if I am infected?
A: Like with most diseases, that depends on how serious your case is. Most people are ill for 3-7 days. For some people it takes weeks to recover; and there are many deaths. It is important to remain isolated in the entire period in which you are ill. Based on our existing knowledge, we believe that you will stop infecting others when 48 hours have passed from any symptoms showing.

Q: Will a normal flu shot help protect me against the Coronavirus?
A: We don’t know, but we don’t think so. But a flu shot will help you not to be infected by both the normal flu and Coronavirus at the same time.  


Summary of The Press Conference at The Prime Minister’s office held on the 13th March 2020

Participants: Prime Minister – Mette Frederiksen, Foreign Minister – Jeppe Kofoed, Minister of Justice – Nick Hekkerup and National Police Chief – Torkild Fogde.

First, the government gave a status update on the corona virus in Denmark:

802 are infected, 23 are hospitalized, 2 in critical condition.

Next, Mette Frederiksen presented the latest regulations against the spread of coronavirus in Denmark.

The first regulation, is that hospitals must now stop all unnecessary treatments.  That is, for example, operations or routine non-life-sustaining examinations, will be postponed.

The second, is that the Foreign Ministry now advises against all unnecessary travel to all countries and recommends all Danes who are abroad to come home; that is, do not travel out of Denmark if it can be avoided at all, and if you are traveling, get home as soon as possible.

The third – and so far most serious regulation – is that from tomorrow, Saturday 14th of April at 12pm all borders in and out of Denmark will close until the 14th of April 2020. It will not be possible for foreigners to enter Denmark, neither by plane, ships, trains, buses or cars unless they have a recognised purpose; this means, for example, that they live or work in Denmark, must visit acutely ill family members or have the right of access with children in Denmark.

The borders will be enforced by the police with the help of the defense.

The government points out that it is still possible to transport food and groceries and it will continue to be able to cross the border without hindrance and that there will thus be no shortage of food. In addition, Danish citizens can, of course, always travel into Denmark.


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