Danish News Round-Up: Health minister concerned by recent climb in corona infection rate

Also causing ripples are former swimmer Jeanette Ottesen, the banned toxin PFOS and the tendency of the public to bully young political candidates

The health minister, Magnus Heunicke, warns that the number of corona cases is rising again.

Rate has doubled in a fortnight
The reproduction rate of 1.0 is nothing to be alarmed about, he said, but other factors suggest the infection rate could keep on growing.

Over the last fortnight, it has pretty much doubled. For the 24 hours concluding yesterday afternoon, there were 756 new cases and two more deaths. Some 120 people are currently hospitalised.

In total there were 40,860 PCR tests, so the infection rate was 1.85 percent.

Reduced rate at nursing homes
However, the infection rate at nursing homes, which rose quickly in August and September, has fallen significantly.

Last week, there were just three new cases, according to Statens Serum Institut.

The fall coincides with the decision to give all nursing home residents a third dose of the vaccine. 

Historic abuse allegations surface as part of investigation into former school
Eleven former students at the Gravenshoved Boarding School near Christiansfeld in north Jutland have made allegations they were abused as children attending the establishment. They submitted the claims in writing to Aalborg Municipality, which recently conducted an investigation into the allegations – an internal investigation as the municipality owned the school from 1964 to 1992, the year the school closed. The findings have been passed onto the police, who are now taking an interest.

Young local politician candidates routinely harassed because of their age
Young politicians are often harassed because of their age, according to a DR report. Some 57 local election candidates, who were under the age of 25 at the time of the last vote in 2017, were questioned, and 22 said they had unpleasant experiences due to their age. Typical comments included “Get some life experience!”, “Go back to primary school”, “You look like a child” and “Don’t you need to get confirmed first?” Danish Youth Council chair Chris Borup Preuss told DR that the “risk of the under-representation [of young people] becomes even greater” as a result of the abuse.

Foreign drivers far less likely to pay parking fines
Foreign drivers are far less likely to pay their parking fines than their Danish counterparts, claims a study carried out by the trade association DTL-Danske Vognmænd. Its study assessed 5,000 parking fines handed out to foreign drivers and found that only 521 were paid. The Færdselsstyrelsen transport authority uses the debt collection company Euro Parking Collection to track down the recipients of unpaid fines abroad. 

Swedish bank to withdraw from Denmark, but won’t forget its customers
The Swedish bank Handelsbanken plans to withdraw from Denmark to focus on other markets: namely Sweden, Norway and the UK. However, it will not affect the services it provides to its Danish customers. “A process is now being initiated to divest the companies in Denmark and Finland, while the Netherlands will become part of Handelsbanken Capital Markets,” confirmed the bank, which has just over 600 employees in Denmark. Founded in 1871, it started operations in Denmark in 1992.

Terror bollards in place at square by queen’s palace
It’s no longer possible to drive through Amalienborg Slotsplads, a route that takes motorists close to one of the Danish queen’s most preferred residences. Bollards have been set up as a terror deterrent. The Palaces and Culture Agency decided to protect the area in 2019 following a recommendation from the PET intelligence agency. Some of the bollards, which are coated in bronze, are submersible in case cleared vehicles need to pass. 

Swimmer criticised for calling peer a classic bullying victim
Swimmer Jeanette Ottesen has been criticised for referring to her fellow competitor Lotte Friis as a “classic victim” of bullying. In her biography, the recently retired swimmer confesses to being part of a group who bullied the long-distance swimmer, and Helle Rabøl Hansen, an expert on the subject at Aarhus University, contends to DR that the ‘apology’ is a form of bullying. When you use that phrase, you indicate the victim is to blame and attracting the bullying attention. In response, Ottesen told TV2: “It is what it is.”

Flu vaccine arsenal fully prepared for season
There are 500,000 doses of the flu vaccine available at doctors, pharmacies and clinics, according to Statens Serum Institut. In total, it has purchased a record 2.5 million doses ahead of the season, and 1.3 million have been administered. Some 743,000 Danes are judged to be at risk and advised to be jabbed.

Port of Skagen showing Copenhagen how it should be done
Plans to power docking ships at Copenhagen’s main ferry terminal have been postponed by a year, but that hasn’t stopped the port of Skagen setting up an onshore power supply. It has banned ships with diesel engines from keeping their power switched on whilst docking, and the immediate result is less noise, the port’s manager Willy Hansen tells DR.

Banned toxin found near grazing cattle again
The banned toxin PFOS has again been found in an area where it could have an impact on humans who consume meat derived from local cattle. This time the PFOS was found in a stream and field near Odense, reports Fyens Stiftstidende. PFOS-poisoned water was recently responsible for making 100 people unwell near Korsør after they ate meat sourced from a contaminated field this year. The concentration near Odense, which was detected by a local nature project, is much smaller than the quantity found in Korsør. PFOS was banned in 2011. 

Police have enforced new nightlife zone ban law on three since July
The police have convicted three people of frequenting nightlife zones they are banned from visiting between 00:00 and 05:00. Since July 1, people with certain convictions (such as weapons possession and vandalism) have been banned from visiting nightlife zones centred around parts of Gothersgade, Vestergade, Vesterbrogade and Kødbyen, as well as areas in the centres of Randers and Aarhus. The bans tend to last for two years following their release from prison.

Nordea raises interest rates for savings holders again
Nordea has raised its negative interest rate for holdings of more than 100,000 kroner from minus 0.6 to 0.7 percent. It blames Nationalbanken’s recent lowering of interest rates. For example, an account holder with savings of 250,000 kroner will have to pay an extra 150 kroner a year.

Speed enforcement week catches 7,000 drivers
The police caught 7,000 drivers speeding last week during a seven-day crackdown on offending motorists. Nevertheless, the figure was lower than the crackdown in 2020.