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The Danish Health Authority has updated the risk assessment and issues updated guidelines on the handling of COVID-19

Based on the development in Italy and other countries, the assessment of the Danish Health Authority is that there is now a moderate risk that we will see COVID-19 cases in Denmark, possibly with chains of infection as seen in Italy. The strategy in Denmark is still that we will attempt to track down and contain possible cases of COVID-19 infection.

25 FEB 2020

The updated guideline expands the criteria for when to suspect COVID-19. At the same time, The Danish Health Authority approves six hospitals for receiving patients suspected of COVID-19 and that test samples can be analyzed locally.

In the past week, an increasing number of COVID-19 cases in countries outside of China has been reported, including chains of infection in countries such as South Korea, Iran, Japan and Italy. Many of the infected, e.g. in Italy, have not traveled in China and also rapid spread of the infection has been seen in Italy, which suggests that COVID-19 may potentially spread quickly, also in Europe.
In light of these events, Statens Serum Institut and The Danish Health Authority now assess, that there is a moderate risk that we will see cases of COVID-19 in Denmark with local spread of the infection. Nevertheless, our assessment continues to be that the risk that we will see widespread infection throughout Denmark is low and the risk of major challenge to the Danish health system is low.

”Our strategy is still to contain the infection, which we will do by quickly diagnosing COVID-19 and treat under isolation. At the same time, we will put great effort into tracking down and handling individuals who have been in close contact with infected persons in order for them to go into quarantine. With the new guidelines, we expand the criteria for suspicion of COVID-19 and we expand the number of hospitals that are able to handle these patients”, says Søren Brostrøm, Director General in The Danish Health Authority.

At the same time, Søren Brostrøm stresses that the six hospitals now approved by The Danish Health Authority for accepting patients with COVID-19 are all equipped for treating patients in isolation and that with the current knowledge of COVID-19, the treatment does not have to happen in the specialized isolation wards at Aarhus University Hospital and Hvidovre Hospital.

Since new data of the COVID-19 shows that the majority of patients only develop mild symptoms and thus do not need hospitalization, there are also new guidelines for treatment under domestic isolation.

“We have a very well-functioning emergency management system in Denmark and we are now integrating this even further in order to have more hospitals and hospital departments participate. As a result, they have now been provided with guidelines to prepare them for for the task”, says Søren Brostrøm.

You can find the updated guidelines for handling COVID-19 (25th of February 2020) here (only available in Danish)