Denmark announced on Thursday specific restrictions for more than 280,000 inhabitants in the northwest of the country, aimed at preventing further contagions of a mutation of the coronavirus from mink , which could, according to Copenhagen, threaten the effectiveness of a future vaccine for the humans.
“As of tonight, citizens of seven communes in northern Jutland must remain in their own cities to prevent the spread of the infection,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a news conference.
Danes and foreigners will not be able to travel to this region, where restaurants and bars are expected to close from Saturday.
“We ask you to do something really extraordinary,” added the head of government, referring to a “true closure” of these lands. “The eyes of the world are on us,” added Frederiksen.
The affected cities (Laesø, Frederikshavn, Hjørring, Brønderslev, Jammerbugt, Thisted and Vesthimmerland) are located in the far north of Jutland, in western Denmark, with 288,000 inhabitants. Public transport will be disrupted. Trains and buses entering and leaving these municipalities will also be stopped. High school students will start taking classes online starting on Monday.
Denmark, the world’s first exporter of mink fur, raised concern on Wednesday by announcing the sacrifice of all these animals in the country – more than 15 million – after discovering this mutation communicable to humans and which was discovered in 12 people, 11 of them inhabitants of that region and one in another area.
The mutation of a virus is normal, according to scientists. But determining the concrete consequences of this phenomenon is complex. Experts on Wednesday asked the Danish authorities to communicate the scientific details of this mutation.
According to the authorities’ first explanations, this mutation has no more serious consequences for humans. However, it reduces the effectiveness of its antibodies, which puts at risk the creation of a vaccine against Covid-19, which several laboratories are developing around the world.