The Danish government wants to kill the entire population for fear of a mutation of the coronavirus that has occurred in minks. There are 17 million animals. With 1,139 breeding farms, Denmark is one of the world’s largest producers of mink fur, which is often used for coats.
So far, Covid-19 infections have been found in 207 mink farms. The virus apparently spread to the mink through humans. There it mutated and infected people again. There have already been outbreaks on mink farms in other countries in recent months, which is why many animals had to be culled. Now the entire mink population is also being killed in Denmark.
The Danish government is also imposing extensive restrictions in the North Jutland region. Local public transport will be discontinued in seven municipalities and the almost 280,000 residents are urged to stay in their own municipality. Schoolchildren in the fifth to eighth grades are to be taught remotely from Monday, the same applies to students of further educational institutions, as the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced on Thursday evening.
The municipalities of Hjørring, Frederikshavn, Brønderslev, Jammerbugt, Thisted, Vesthimmerland and Læsø are affected by the restrictions. Restaurants, pubs and other places have to close there from Saturday, but may offer take-away. Sports halls, swimming pools and fitness studios will be closed from Monday.
One could speak of a real lockdown in North Jutland, said Frederiksen. This is necessary because a mutated coronavirus brings with it the risk of influencing the effects of an upcoming vaccine. All citizens in the affected communities are asked to take a corona test.
So far, the mutated virus has been found in twelve people in Denmark, including eleven from North Jutland. The technical director of the Danish health institute SSI, Kåre Mølbak, underlined that this virus is no more dangerous than other coronaviruses. The risk, however, is that it is more resistant to antibodies.
Even if it is a mutated form of the corona virus, there is currently no increased risk, the World Health Organization also confirmed on Friday. WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said on Friday in Geneva: “It is too early to jump to conclusions about the consequences of this new mutation for transmission, severity of the disease, clinical symptoms, immune response or possible vaccine effects.”
With material from the dpa