There are only 263 hospitalised coronavirus patients in Denmark – almost exactly half the number on April 1, when there were 535.
Of course, some of these patients have died since then – as of yesterday, 443 people have been killed by the coronavirus so far in Denmark – but many more have recovered.
And this bodes well for the country’s efforts to stem the spread, said PM Mette Frederiksen at a press conference yesterday.
“The infection is under control. We have succeeded with our strategy in what was a difficult first phase,” she said.
Second phase: testing and hygiene
Following the successful reopening of the country’s daycare institutions, schools (up until the fifth grade), healthcare facilities, courts and a number of other services (such as hairdressers and dentists), Frederiksen is confident Denmark is well placed to begin its second phase.
The country will over the next month conduct far more testing – with the help of 16 centres that have sprouted up all over the country over the last two weeks – and better hygiene.
Patients who have recovered from or are still suffering from coronavirus will be asked to retrace their steps in the build-up to their diagnosis to help establish who they might have been in contact with.
Hygiene-wise, the country will make more use of protective equipment, continue to encourage social distancing and prohibit large gatherings where it believes many people can get infected all at once.
May 10 reopenings expected
According to Frederiksen, many of the still closed businesses in Denmark will very soon know when they can expect to open again: for example, restaurants, sports centres and schools for teenagers.
It is thought likely the reopening plan will be presented next week, and that it will probably be scheduled to start on May 10 – the date when the current restrictions expire.
Konservative leader Søren Pape Poulsen questioned whether matters were moving too slowly, but compared to other countries, Denmark is ahead of the curve, and one needn’t look at Frederiksen’s current popularity rating to know she has strong backing from the Danish people.
“The government is not going to be pressured into moving too fast,” she said. “You can open too slowly and too fast, and we must find the golden middle-ground.”
Italy said ‘no thanks’ to Denmark’s respirators offer
Italy has refused Denmark’s respirator offer, TV2 reports. The defence minister, Trine Bramsen, told Politiken that Italy sent an oral reply that it does not currently need the respirators. In early April, Denmark was criticised for offering respirators that are too old and useless. However, Italy still requested 10-13 of them.
The tourism and leisure industries hit the hardest
The tourism and leisure industry is by far the hardest hit by the Coronavirus Crisis according to an analysis by Danmarks Statistik. Some 45 percent of hotels and 36 percent of restaurants believe there is ‘some risk’ or a ‘very high risk’ of them being liquidated or going bankrupt within the next three months. While restaurants have the opportunity to sell takeaways, 42 percent of them have experienced a decline in revenue. The impact is bigger in the hotel industry, where 91 percent of the hotels have experienced a decline in turnover of over 75 percent in the past month.