Denmark to open more schools as epidemic eases

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COPENHAGEN, March 9 (Reuters) – Denmark will allow more schools across the country to reopen and ease some restrictions on large shops in response to an improving situation in the coronavirus epidemic, authorities said on Tuesday.

Secondary educations such as boarding schools will be allowed to reopen on Monday while large stores would be allowed to take in more customers, the Justice Ministry said in a statement.

Earlier on Tuesday, Health Minister Magnus Heunicke said the reproduction value for the coronavirus was at 1.0, meaning the epidemic is not growing.

“Thus, we have the basis for further controlled reopening,” he said on Twitter.

The contact number, also known as the R-value, indicates how many people one infected person will pass the virus on to.

Denmark has registered around 215,000 infections in total, with just under 2,400 corona-related deaths.

Heunicke also said the more contagious B.1.1.7. variant, first identified in Britain, was found in around 80% of all positive cases.

Denmark has eased some of its tough lockdown measures introduced in December, as schools in some parts of the country have reopened, as well as shops, and outdoor leisure activities have resumed.

Head of the State Serum Institute, Henrik Ullum, said on Monday the partial reopening so far had not led the epidemic towards the worst-case scenario, where up to almost 900 hospitalisation could happen in April. (Reporting by Nikolaj Skydsgaard; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Angus MacSwan)

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