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Ten additional returning travelers from the Hubei-province are now in Denmark

The initial four people arrived on Friday. Last night an additional ten people returned to Denmark from the Hubei province. Everyone is feeling well and are on their way to their residences in Denmark. Two persons will go into home quarantine.

03 FEB 2020

The journey from the Chinese Hubei province was arranged by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with transit in France and Belgium where one of the eleven persons traveling from Hubei was admitted to the hospital for tests. The other ten traveled the remaining distance with the Challenger aircraft of the Danish Defence that landed in Roskilde Airport last night a little after 1 AM.

All of the 10 persons was feeling well upon arrival in Denmark where they were met in the airport by health care personnel and health authorities. None of the ten had any signs of infection and there was no need to admit anyone of them to the hospital.

“We had to chief physicians in the airport receiving the returned citizens. Out doctors were briefed by the doctor of the Danish Defence and they thoroughly interviewed each of the 10 persons regarding their stay in China and their journey home. Based on this we have performed a concrete risk assessment of each individual according to the guidelines of The Danish Health Authority. The assessment is, that 2 persons are in high risk of exposure to the coronavirus, and therefore we have agreed that they will go into home quarantine for 14 days. The remaining 8 persons have, after thorough examination, been assessed as in low risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus. They have all been thoroughly informed on necessary precautions”, says Anne-Marie Vangsted, Director General of The Danish Patient Safety Authority and stresses that the authorities will follow up on all returned citizens.

Both when leaving China and during the journey all returning travelers have been assessed by the health authorities for signs of coronavirus infection and is has been a prerequisite for continued traveling that you were not ill. During the last part of the journey, the travelers were accompanied by a doctor from The Danish Defence, who also performed medical assessment of each individual before landing in Roskilde.

“Just like on Friday, everything went smooth with the arrival in Roskilde. We are grateful to The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Danish Defence, The Danish Patient Safety Authority and the pre-hospital preparedness management teams for excellent cooperation on this repatriation”, says Søren Brostrøm, Director General of The Danish Health Authority, who also stresses that the guidelines of The Danish Health Authority have been followed.

“We have many years of experience with our criteria for risk assessment and principles for monitoring healthy persons with a history of risk contact and they are in line with our neighboring countries. We do not accept any unnecessary risks in terms of preventing spread of infection in the population and at the same time we also consider the well-being of the citizens who have returned safely from a high risk area. We do not quarantine people for no reason”, says Søren Brostrøm and adds that because relatively few people are affected home quarantine is preferred to large quarantine facilities.

See questions and answers about the novel coronavirus here

About 'high and 'low' risk

When performing a concrete assessment of whether an individual could be at risk of infection with the novel coronavirus, the guidelines of The Danish Health Authority are followed. Persons with merely random contact with a possibly infected, e.g. by staying in the same waiting room, are categorized as ‘low’ risk.

Persons, who have been in close contact with a possibly infected, e.g. conversation, contact with body fluids, close proximity in an aircraft etc., are categorized as ‘high’ risk.

If the health authorities are in doubt in terms of the degree of contact, especially for people returning from an area with ongoing transmission, the higher category will most often be applied from a principle of caution.

For people in the ’low’ risk category, self-monitoring will be recommended, i.e. that the person measures his/her temperature twice a day until and including the 14th day from possible exposure to infection.
If the person develops a fever or other signs of infection, they are instructed to isolate themselves immediately and call one of the two hospitals that handle coronavirus, and whereto they can be admitted directly by ambulance.

For people in the ’high’ risk category security is increased and we advise against traveling and having contact with other people. The health authorities ensure daily contact from health personnel in order to ensure temperature measurements etc. Often there will be made an agreement of “home quarantine” where leaving your home is discouraged until and including the 14th day from possible exposure to infection.