"Super-spreading" events suspected of causing COVID-19 rise in Denmark's second largest city

Source: Xinhua| 2020-08-04 23:21:28|Editor: huaxia

COPENHAGEN, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- An alarming rise in COVID-19 infections has hit Aarhus, Denmark's second largest city, with suspicions that "super-spreading" events may be the cause, according to an expert on Tuesday.

"We are very aware of what is happening in Aarhus, and in these hours the people in the agency are in the process of clarifying whether it is an isolated group in Aarhus, or whether it is more dispersed," said Anette Lykke Petri, acting director of the Danish Agency for Patient Safety, to Denmark's DR TV news.

Aarhus, a city 187 km west of Copenhagen, saw 50 citizens test positive for the virus out of a total of 207 nationwide during the past weekend.

Viggo Andreasen, an associate professor at the Department of Science and Environment at Roskilde University Center (RUC) and expert in epidemic mathematics, believes the recent acceleration of infections in Aarhus has a primary source.

"It is probably due to some extent to a super-spreading event that has taken place," said Andreasen to DR News.

The events include a recent mass celebration in the center of Aarhus when hundreds of football fans celebrated the third place finish in the Danish super League of local club AGF and an event at Aarhus University for over 80 political science students, among whom five have since tested positive for COVID-19, according to the local newspaper Aarhus.

However, the Agency for Patient Safety says that it is too early to say anything about whether these events are contributing to the increasing number of infections in the city, and an overview of the infection chains is currently being formed.

Meanwhile, Kare Molbak, director of the Statens Serum Institut, on Tuesday told Danish magazine The Engineer that he does not recommend further reopening for phase 4 because of the increasing number of confirmed cases recently.

The phase 4 of the reopening is supposed to take place in "early August".

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Denmark has risen by 77 over the past 24 hours to 14,073 while the death toll remains unchanged at 616, according to the Statens Serum Institut's daily update on Tuesday. Enditem