Denmark logs more infections with more contagious coronavirus variant

·1-min read
The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Copenhagen

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Denmark saw a rise in the share of coronavirus cases containing a more contagious variant, despite seeing general infection numbers drop, Danish disease authorities said on Wednesday.

Denmark has imposed hard lockdown measures since mid-December in efforts to curb rising infections and particularly the spread of the more contagious variant, which is expected to be the dominant one by mid-February.

A total of 1,116 infections with the B.1.1.7. variant, first identified in Britain, has been registered since mid-November, according to the State Serum Institute, which deals with infectious diseases.

In the fourth week of January, 16.5% of all positive tests analysed for their genetic material had the mutated variant, up from 13.3% in the week before and just 4% in the first week of the year.

But the general infection rate is on the decline in Denmark, which could warp the significance of the rising share of infections with the mutated strain.

From several thousands of daily COVID-19 infections in December, only 425 cases have been registered in the last 24 hours out of more than 110,377 tested, according to SSI, meaning only 0.38% tested positive.

Denmark eased some restrictions on Monday, reopening schools for the youngest children.

(Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Alison Williams and Paul Simao)