International Round-Up: Still no confirmed cases of Coronavirus

Denmark has had several false alarms, but so far no carriers have penetrated its borders

Denmark has pledged 8 million kroner towards the international fight against COVID-19, the name officially given to the Coronavirus, in an effort to take “co-responsibility in the global response to health crises”.

The donation will go towards the WHO’s Contingency Fund for Emergencies, which is currently targeting COVID-19.

Following many false alarms and precautionary quarantines, there remain no confirmed cases of the virus in Denmark.

Increased precautions
However, in response to Italy’s escalating situation ­– where there have been 200 positive diagnoses and seven deaths – the national health board, Sundhedsstryrelsen, is broadening the scope of its preventative measures.

Søren Brostrøm, the head of Sundhedsstyrelsen, explains that the health board will no longer only be checking people entering Denmark from China, but also from other countries where virus cases continue to grow.

To date there have been over 80,000 confirmed cases and over 2,700 deaths worldwide.


Nothing for Sherlock to worry about!
Over the first ten months of 2019, 489 Brits were granted Danish citizenship – over three times the number during the same period in 2017.

No worries
Since Brexit, the number of applications from the 18,500-strong community has been soaring. However, according to Mattias Tesfaye, the integration and immigration minister, Brits with residence permits have nothing to worry about.

“If you already have a residence permit in Denmark, your rights will be continued. We have made sure of that, and we have no intention of changing that,” he told DR.

For Brits who want to immigrate to Denmark, the situation will change, though.
“After 1 January 2021, they will become third-country nationals,” said Tesfaye. “Then the same rules will apply to them as anyone who immigrates from outside the EU.”

Sherlock’s suspicions
DR topped off its coverage by finding a ‘new Dane’ with the most British-sounding name possible: Gary Sherlock.

And like Sherlock Holmes, he is looking between the lines.

“I don’t think you want to send us home, but you never know,” he said at his citizenship ceremony in Holstebro.

“Besides, it is much easier when me and my family can travel around Europe on a Danish passport,” he added.


Cultural travel concerns
TV2 reports that young Danes from minority backgrounds are increasingly feeling pressured into sampling the culture of their parents – invariably the Muslim country their folks immigrated from. According to figures from the RED Center, the number complaining that their families plan to immerse them in another culture has more than doubled since 2014, from 70 to 158 last year.

Frigate to join French
At the end of March, a Danish frigate, ‘Niels Juel’, will join up with a French aircraft carrier group led by the ‘Charles de Gaulle’ in Aarhus. From there, they will head off to the North Sea on a training mission.

Another op for Freddie
Crown Prince Frederik has undergone an operation on his shoulder at Rigshospitalet after injuring it whilst skiing in his favourite resort Verbier, where his children are attending the local international school.

Cohabiting central
Some 9 percent of all adults in Denmark cohabit, according to a Eurofound analysis, ranking the country sixth. France, Sweden (both 13 percent) and Finland (12) topped the rankings, while in Greece and Lithuania it is just 1 percent.

More Chinese displeasure
The Chinese Embassy is displeased that Pia Kjærsgaard, the former speaker of Parliament, visited Taiwan in October 2019, reports Jyllands-Posten. The politician, it claimed, “expressed herself in a way which the embassy found unsatisfactory”. Kjærsgaard, who supports Taiwan’s sovereign status, told TV2 she met its president, but only to extend “ordinary courtesies”.

Saudis asked to explain
The Saudi ambassadors in both Denmark and the Netherlands were summoned by the countries’ respective governments to explain the activities of four members of Iranian group, the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA) , who have allegedly been spying on behalf of an unnamed Saudi security agency. Three were arrested in the Ringsted area.

Architect criticised
Architect Bjarke Ingels has been criticised for meeting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in January. According to DR, both men were present at a meeting in northeastern Brazil regarding the establishment of a sustainable tourism plan. DR asked its readers whether they too would “work for a man who has stated that he would rather have a dead son than a gay son?”

Praise for Denmark
Jens Stoltenberg, the general-secretary of NATO, has commended Denmark ahead of its scheduled assumption of the leadership of NATO’s training mission in Iraq at the end of the year. The training was suspended following the US’s assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and Iran’s retaliation, but the Iraqi government wants it to resume.

Released to Latvia
Many feared that the Latvian woman Kristīne Misāne, in custody in Denmark for over a year, would be extradited to South Africa to face charges she abducted her daughter from her former husband’s home there. But on February 20 it was decided to send her back to Latvia, where the sentencing is expected to be far more lenient.

Pledge to Ukraine
The foreign minister, Jeppe Kofod, visited Ukraine from February 6-7, where he confirmed Denmark has earmarked further funding of 220 million kroner to continue the Danish Neighborhood Program.

Hold your Tongue plans!
Hoteliers in the area around the Scottish village of Tongue are up in arms over Anders Holch Povlsen’s plans to establish a huge hotel complex there. They claim the new hotel represents unfair competition.

Double standards?
Greenpeace is alarmed to note that Greenland is offering tax rebates to companies interested in drilling in the Arctic, reports DR, whilst also increasing the geographical coverage. PM Kim Kielsen, who recently attended an oil event in Houston, will continue to drum up business “as long as a large part of the world’s energy consumption is covered by oil and gas”.

US consulate plans
The US believes it will need 4 million kroner to set up a US consulate in Greenland’s capital, Nuuk – plans that the Danish Foreign Ministry endorsed back in December. The last time the US had a consulate in Greenland was in 1953 after it opened one in 1940 after Nazi Germany’s occupation of Denmark.

Maersk ship hijacked
Maersk Tema, a container ship chartered to German company Schulte, was taken over by pirates off the coast of Nigeria on February 14. No Danes nor Maersk crew members were on board.

Danes held in Morocco
Three Danes were arrested in Tangier in northern Morocco on February 14, where they are being held in connection with the discovery of large amounts of cannabis and money. Two of the three are expected to be extradited to Denmark.





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