Live updates: Omicron variant and coronavirus news πŸ’₯πŸ’₯πŸ’₯

Denmark’s Health Minister Magnus Heunicke speaks during a press conference in the Prime Minister’s Office in Copenhagen, Denmark, Friday Dec. 17, 2021. The Danish Prime Minister said Friday that theaters, cinemas, concert halls, amusement parks, museums and art galleries must shut down to contain the spread of the coronavirus. (Olafur Steinar Gestsson/Ritzau Scanpix/AP)

The Danish Ministry of Health anticipates between 9,000 to 45,000 new daily Covid-19 infections by Christmas Day in light of the Omicron variant, according to a report published Saturday.

The Statens Serum Institut (SSI), part of Denmark’s Ministry of Health, also forecast up to 250 hospital admissions per day by Christmas in the report, which estimated infection rates and new hospital admissions through to January 1, 2022.

While it acknowledges a high degree of uncertainty associated with the modeling, the Expert Group for Mathematical Modelling expects β€œboth increasing infection rates and more admissions towards Christmas.”

The report took into consideration the country’s accelerated plan for revaccinating all those over the age of 18, and acknowledged β€œuncertainties around the Omicron variant,” including severity. The projections also hinge β€œon the degree of declining immunity for the Omicron variant” and the behavior of the population.

The expert group modeled eight different scenarios with different combinations of relevant parameters. All eight scenarios pointed to increasing infection rates and new admissions.

“We estimate between 130-250 daily new admissions on December 24, if we assume that the Omicron variant gives the same hospitalization risk, and infects one and a half to twice as much as the Delta variant,” said Camilla Holten MΓΈller, leader of the expert group.

β€œThere is still great uncertainty about the admission risk for the Omicron variant. And there are indications that the variant may be less severe,” added Holten MΓΈller.

“Therefore, we have also made calculations with it being half as serious as the Delta variant. If this is the case, the models show we can expect between 120-190 daily new admissions on 24 December.”

Denmark recorded 8,212 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday, according to SSI data.

New restrictions came into effect on Sunday in an attempt to curb the spike in infections. Distancing measures and nightlife restrictions are also back in place, and passes are required on parts of the public transit system.

Live updates: Omicron variant and coronavirus news

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