Denmark is the first in Europe to reopen everything: “Covid is no longer a threat”

Denmark is the first in Europe to reopen everything: “Covid is no longer a threat”
Denmark is the first in Europe to reopen everything: “Covid is no longer a threat”

No masks on public transport or Green Pass at the entrance to restaurants, but vigorous handshakes at every meeting and goodbye to interpersonal distancing: except within those margins that remain as social custom among Scandinavians, no longer as the result of imposed precautions. It is an everyday life that is completely identical to the memories of before the pandemic that one lives in these hours in Copenhagen, grappling with the Danish “day of freedom”, as the local media have renamed it in the wake of the English example of 19 July last. If in April Denmark was the first European nation to introduce the obligation of the Covid-pass to have access to clubs, museums, theaters, etc., from today – and once again in advance of all – the health certificate has become a I remember. It is no longer even needed to enter discos or stadiums, after the many restrictions already lifted on September 1st by the government led by the Social Democrat Mette Frederiksen.

In announcing that Covid no longer represents a “serious threat” in the country, and that the pandemic is “under control”, the authorities justified the decision with the success of the vaccination plan, which has so far completely immunized 75% of the population over 12 years. Even if the alert, as Hans Jorn Jepsen Kolmos, professor of microbiology at the University of Copenhagen, underlines to ANSA, cannot be said to be completely overcome even here. “The coronavirus is still with us – his words – but we have reduced the problem to a manageable level, like a normal disease, without too many inconveniences at the moment for everyday life”. Kolmos observes how despite a weekly average of 580 new cases per day, hospitalizations are now very low in the country and deaths almost zero: with a much lower proportion compared to infections in the United Kingdom itself (ten times more populated), than with a similar one vaccination quota reopened everything a month and a half ago. “Now the infections thrive especially among our young people – explains the academician -, but they do not get sick. From a clinical point of view we can resist, the hospital system is no longer experiencing particular problems and the current challenge is to keep the level of immunization high among the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases ».

The Danish one is currently the third vaccination coverage rate in Europe, but the health authorities want to accelerate again in view of the autumn, guaranteeing the first dose by October to at least 90% of the population over 12 and starting a third recall limited in a first phase to the most vulnerable. “Our strategy was this: we soon realized that we would have to live with Covid, so we tried to quickly vaccinate as many people as possible. Huge centers have been opened across the country; and from yesterday you can also get the dose in supermarkets: you shop, then you get vaccinated », says Thomas Enghausen, vice president of the FIA, the main national union of health workers.

After all, Denmark – in sharp contrast to its neighbor and socially similar Sweden, always opposed to total closure – had been among the very first nations to lock down in the lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic, when vaccines were only a hope. An extreme measure, now outdated, and which, however, the government refuses to exclude a priori for the future, should it become necessary again; highlighting how caution has ultimately produced data on the total death toll from Covid that are much lower than those in Sweden. In the meantime, however, we enjoy our freedom. «Today is an important day, which gives us confidence and confirms the correctness of the line we have adopted – says Flemming Konradsen, consultant of the health agency that supports the government in pandemic management -; but that leaves us prepared, politically and at the level of public opinion, to accept the scenario of new restrictions, if ever there will be a need ».

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