Thursday February 25, 2021

Denmark reports rapid spread of new COVID-19 strain

Published : 26 Jan 2021, 17:39

  DF News Desk

Commuters view an enormous colorful globe constructed from LEGO bricks at the Central Station in the Danish capital Copenhagen, on Nov. 17, 2020. File Photo: Xinhua.

An analysis of positive coronavirus samples shows that Denmark has been experiencing a significant statistical increase in the number of cases involving the more contagious strain of virus, which was first detected in Britain, reported Xinhua.

The Statens Serum Institut (SSI) said on Monday that it had registered a total of 632 cases of the new variant in Denmark.

Researchers have found that the variant first appeared in Denmark in the 46th week of 2020 (Nov. 9-Nov. 15), accounting for 0.3 percent of all positive COVID-19 cases.

Eleven weeks later, in the third week of 2021, 12.1 percent of the positive samples carried the strain.

"According to the SSI, the variant is spreading in Denmark and will soon be the most common version of coronavirus," Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke said on Twitter on Tuesday.

The new strain is the main reason why the Danish government has decided to extend the restrictions by closing down the country's schools and retail stores and limiting social gatherings to five people until Feb. 7.

Overall, Denmark's daily number of new COVID-19 cases has fallen dramatically since Dec. 16, 2020, when it peaked at 4,349, primarily due to the effectiveness of the government's restrictions.

According to the SSI, Denmark registered 652 new COVID-19 infections and a further 20 deaths in the past 24 hours. To date, the country has reported 195,948 COVID-19 cases and 2,030 deaths.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in some countries with the already-authorized coronavirus vaccines.

Meanwhile, 237 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide -- 64 of them in clinical trials -- in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Jan. 22.