Danish PM says it’s time to rethink country’s COVID-19 restrictions

A long queue for a quick test in the center of Aalborg at the test site at Budolfi Church, in Aalborg, Denmark. [EPA-EFE/HENNING BAGGER]

It is high time to review the COVID-19 restrictions, said Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, citing the drop in the number of patients in intensive care units (ICUs).

While intensive care admissions peaked at 82 on 6 January, numbers have steadily declined since, with the number of patients dropping to 52 on Wednesday.

This is a sign that we can face the coming weeks with serenity, said Anders Perner, senior physician at the intensive care unit at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen.

“The number of seriously ill patients in intensive care units is steadily decreasing despite the high infection rate. Especially in Copenhagen’s region where we have seen the highest infection rate. So overall it’s a very good sign,” he added.

Steffen Christensen, senior physician in the intensive care unit at Aarhus University Hospital, expressed similar optimism. According to him, this is because the effects of the Omicron variant are not as severe as previous COVID-19 variants.

“The infection rate has been very high for more than a fortnight. So if we were to imagine an increase in the number of intensive care patients, we would very likely have seen it by now,” he said.

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen noted that the curve seems to have reached a peak as far as ICU patients are concerned.

“We are obviously in a place and a situation where we need to reconsider not only the current restrictions, of which there are not many left, but how we handle the situation in general. At least that is what we are doing in the government right now,” Frederiksen told tabloid newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

(Charles Szumski | EURACTIV.com)

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