This week has been hit hard by the coronavirus. Not only new restrictions came in place, but also a part of the Danish royal family had to go to self-isolation after the heir to the Danish throne tested positive. Moreover, as the vaccination process is on the way, some questions about the total protection by the vaccine arise. Read further in our News Recap for the past week!
In addition to the 38 most corona-affected municipalities, another 31 are added to the new partial lockdown directive, which became effective on Wednesday.
"From Friday at 4 pm, all municipalities in Region Zealand and Central Jutland as well as other municipalities in the Triangle area will be subject to stricter restrictions. Aarhus, Odense, Copenhagen and 35 other Zealand municipalities are among the 38. Now 31 new municipalities are added to the list. Here, the same restrictions apply until the 3rd January."
This is what Minister of Health MagnusHeunicke (S) says at a press conference on Thursday.
Aalborg is also affected. According to Heunicke, a total of 79 percent of the Danish population will be subject to the extended coronavirus restrictions. Since Wednesday, 38 municipalities have already been subject to the restrictions.
The Minister of Health emphasizes that itis now time for the population to hold on, as the vaccines are just around the corner.
“Vaccines approved on December 31st. Shortly after, it will be possible to vaccinate in Denmark. 21 days and counting. So now is the time to hold on. We must not let go of control before the vaccine arrives.
The extended restrictions mean, among other things:
- School students from 5th gradeand up have been sent home and must be taught digitally.
- In addition, bars, cafés andrestaurants are closed. However, takeaway is allowed.
- Theaters, venues, cinemas, and the like must remain closed. The same goes for swimming pools, gyms, sports halls, museums, libraries, and evening schools.
- Places, where sports and similar activities are carried out, must keep indoor areas closed to the public. However, professional athletes may continue to use the indoor areas.
- In the sports area, as a rule, only ten people may be present in the same place. This has de facto meant that a number of football clubs, for example, have closed down this year.
- Indoor areas in amusement parks, zoos, aquariums and the like must be kept closed to the public.
- Public-sector workplaces are encouraged to send employees that do not fulfill critical functions home. In addition, private employers are encouraged to ensure that employees who have the opportunity to do so also work from home.
As for the positive news, the Danish government has made an agreement with the private medical company Falck about 50.000 daily rapid coronavirus tests, which will effectively from Monday onward raise the testing capacity to 115.000 tests a day. In addition to that, another 36 new test centers are to be opened.
Corona in the world
On the international scene, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. This was stated by President Donald Trump on Saturday night in a video on Twitter.
“It's a medical miracle. It is one of the greatest scientific achievements in history. The vaccine will save millions of lives and soon end the pandemic once and for all.”
Currently, there are only a few countries that already started with the vaccination process - China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and from this weekend, also the United States. It is scheduled that a number of countries will start the vaccination already in December, like Canada, Bahrain, India, Morocco, and Mexico.
Although getting vaccine is only a fist step towards improvement, there are many challanges to face. And this applies for all the countries, not only the US.
So what is Denmark waiting for?
Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke expects the first Dane to be vaccinated in January. This requires the approval of vaccines by the European Medicine Agency, EMA. The Minister of Health expects this to happen on 31. December. The first vaccinations could be given "a few days later," he said at a December 10th press conference.
With six agreements, Denmark has ensured that the country can, in principle, vaccinate approximately 16 million citizens.
- AstraZeneca: ca. 2.6 million vaccines
- Sanofi-GSK: approx. 2 million vaccines
- Johnson & Johnson: ca. 5.6 million vaccines
- Pfizer / BioNTech: approx. 2 million vaccines
- CureVac: ca. 2.6 million vaccines
- Moderna: approx. 1 million vaccines
At the moment, vaccines from BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna have entered the approval process in the EU. It is uncertain whether all agreements will be used, but they have been concluded to ensure that we have enough vaccines if any of the manufacturers' vaccines are not approved.
Youtube removes videos about election frauds
As the results of the USA presidential elections are officially confirmed, Joe Biden will become the next president. Therefore, YouTube started to delete all videos that contain allegations about frauds connected with the election.
This has been introduced after the deadline known as a ‘safe harbor’ - a point when enough states certified the official results of the election and so gave the next presidential seat to the Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
“On that basis, we will begin removing portions of content uploaded today (or any time thereafter) that mislead people by claiming that extensive fraud or error changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.”
Trump himself is leading the way with the claim that he won the election. That letter votes were swindled, and that election officials helped manipulate the counting of votes so that Biden could be declared the winner. He has sent his lawyers led by Rudy Giuliani to the crucial swing states that Biden won. The reason was to convince the courts of election fraud. However, the judges have flatly denied all allegations. On Tuesday, Trump's campaign suffered the biggest defeat. Here, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the approval of the election result in Pennsylvania.
Pfizer doesn’t know if those that have been vaccinated can spread the virus or not.
The Danes are not going to escape keeping their distance, wearing masks and using hand disinfection, even though they have received a vaccine, says Professor Jens Lundgren.
We can hopefully look forward to being vaccinated against coronavirus at the beginning of the new year. But even with a vaccine in the body, we can not yet start to behave as in the time before the corona pandemic.
Anne Bloch Thomsen, medical director at the pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer, stated to TV 2:
“It is not yet known with certainty whether those vaccinated against coronavirus can infect others. This question is still being investigated. Our Phase 3 testing has examined whether the vaccine candidate prevents the disease.”
“Firstly, we can not be sure that the vaccine protects everyone. And as long as there is a high infection factor in Denmark, it will be smart not to be exposed to the infection.”
Says Jens Lundgren, chief physician, and professor of infectious disease medicine at Rigshospitalet and the University of Copenhagen.
The royal family in isolation - Prince Christian tested positive
“Prince Christian was tested positive forcovid-19 on Monday. He has been infected at his school and is now inisolation.”
This is stated by the Danish Royal House ina press release.
The Royal House has been in contact withthe Danish Agency for Patient Safety for advice on infection detection and testing.
15-year-old Prince Christian is the eldest son of the Crown Prince Couple. He is therefore number two in the succession after his father, Crown Prince Frederik. Apart from the Crown Prince's family, Prince Christian has not been in contact with other members of the Royal House.
On Friday, the Royal House stated in a press release, that all affected members of the Royal Family have been tested again, with a negative result.
“Their Royal Highnesses The Crown Princeand Crown Princess and their four children have been in isolation in Frederik VIII's Palace at Amalienborg since Monday 7th December 2020, after His Royal Highness Prince Christian was tested positive for COVID-19 the same day. The Crown Prince and Crown Princess and their three youngest children have subsequently been tested for COVID-19. All test results have been negative.
A new regional approach to the EU countries in connection with the travel recommendations
New categorization of the EU countries concerning the regional corona differences means that individual regions of the countries with low enough infection rate can disappear from the ‘red list’. But the infection situation must be better."
Says the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jeppe Kofod.
“Even though the changes in the recommendations were almost non-existent, the new regional approach will enable us to adapt our travel recommendations more specifically in the future, especially when the infection situation in Europe improves.”
Sounds from the Ministry.
From now on, the travel instructions from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also be updated on Friday instead of Thursday, which has been the practice so far, the ministry states.