Health officials said that Copenhagen (Reuters) – Denmark on Saturday found its first case of more infectious coronavirus virus from South Africa, and saw an increase in the number of infections.
The Nordic country extended the lockdown for three weeks on Wednesday to prevent the spread of new variants from Britain, which officials expect to be prominent by mid-February.
Denmark has become a front-runner in monitoring coronovirus mutations by running the most positive test through genome sequencing analysis.
A report published on Saturday by the state’s Serum Institute (SSI) said that between mid-November and 10 January, 256 Danes were infected with the new version of Britain.
This corresponded to 1.3% of all positive tests genetically analyzed during that period.
In the first week of January, the percentage share of positive tests with mutations was 3.6%, a growth rate that worried authorities and prompted a locking expansion.
Preliminary data showed that 11 of those infected with the variant had traveled before the infection, including five in the UK, but the SSI said it was unclear whether they were infected abroad or in Denmark.
Later on Saturday, SSI announced that the first case of infection was also reported in South Africa with a more contagious version found by someone who had traveled to Dubai.
Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by John Stonestreet and Helen Popper