Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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U.K. hits Denmark with quarantine after covid mink mutation


The U.K. is imposing a two-week quarantine on travelers from Denmark, following an outbreak of a rare mutation of covid-19 in the Nordic country's mink farms.

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"I have taken the swift decision to urgently remove Denmark from the government's travel corridor list as a precautionary measure given recent developments," U.K. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement.

Denmark said earlier this week it had found a "unique" mutation of the virus that has the potential to derail work on developing a vaccine. Health officials in the country are coordinating their efforts to contain the outbreak with the World Health Organization, which includes culling the entire population of mink, or up to 17 million animals.

At a briefing late on Thursday, Danish Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said the covid mutation, which originated in the western peninsula of Jutland, has now also been identified in at least one person in the country's east, closer to the capital Copenhagen.

Danish health officials say they know of 12 people who have been infected with the new virus. On Friday, local media reported that over 200 people have contracted various forms of coronavirus mutations stemming from mink, 14 of whom were outside the region in which the mutation originated.

On Friday, Denmark recorded 1,427 new coronavirus cases, the highest number yet, though health authorities said the figure also reflects an increase in testing.

Kare Molbak, Denmark's top epidemiologist, said the WHO representatives he's spoken with have made clear they are "very worried" about the findings in his country.

Molbak said Denmark so far hasn't received reports from other countries with large mink populations, such as the Netherlands, of similar outbreaks. Denmark's situation is "unique," he said.

People who have contracted the new form of the virus don't appear to be suffering more severe symptoms, according to Danish health officials. The virus was most likely originally transmitted to the mink from humans, and then back again.

 

Published : November 06, 2020

By : Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Morten Buttler · WORLD, EUROPE