Stricter measures to contain the Omicron variant come into force across Europe

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Denmark’s Health Minister Magnus Heunicke speaks during a press conference at the Prime Minister’s office in Copenhagen, Denmark, Friday December 17, 2021. The Danish Prime Minister said on Friday that theaters, cinemas, concert halls, amusement parks, museums and art galleries must be closed to prevent the spread of the Contain coronavirus. (Olafur Steinar Gestsson / Ritzau Scanpix / AP)

According to a report published on Saturday, the Danish Ministry of Health expects 9,000 to 45,000 new infections with Covid-19 every day by Christmas day, given the Omicron variant.

The Statens Serum Institute (SSI), part of the Danish Ministry of Health, also predicts in the report up to 250 hospital admissions per day by Christmas, which estimates the infection rates and new hospital admissions by January 1, 2022.

The Expert Group for Mathematical Modeling admits a high degree of uncertainty in connection with the modeling, but reckons with “both increasing infection rates and more entries around Christmas”.

The report took into account the country’s accelerated re-vaccination plan for anyone over the age of 18 and acknowledged “uncertainties about the Omicron variant,” including severity. The prognoses also depend “on the degree of decreasing immunity for the Omicron variant” and the behavior of the population.

The expert group modeled eight different scenarios with different combinations of relevant parameters. All eight scenarios indicated increasing infection rates and new admissions.

“We estimate between 130 and 250 new admissions every day on December 24th, assuming that the Omicron variant carries the same hospitalization risk and infects one and a half to twice as much as the Delta variant,” said Camilla Holten Møller, head of die Expert group.

“There is still great uncertainty about the approval risk for the Omicron variant. And there is evidence that the variant may be less severe, “added Holten Møller.

“That’s why we calculated that it is only half as serious as the Delta variant. If this is the case, according to the models, we can expect 120-190 new registrations a day on December 24th.”

Denmark recorded 8,212 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, according to SSI data.

New restrictions went into effect on Sunday to curb the surge in infections. Distance regulations and nightlife restrictions are also back in effect, and passports are required for parts of local public transport.


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