Denmark – Early Covid Mitigation Measures and Ready for E-learning

Avatar for Noémi Timár

As the whole world turns upside down because of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, life has been changing dramatically in most countries. From travel bans and lockdowns to people stockpiling flour and toilet paper. It is hard to navigate such uncharted territories, but each country is trying to ensure the safety of its citizens. Denmark is no exception.

Denmark’s current measures to combat the disease

Due to the sharp rise in the number of cases in the Nordic country, the containment strategy was quickly followed by next-stage measures: mitigation, as it is expected that the virus is spreading extensively in Denmark. The main goal is to slow down the spread of the virus to “flatten the curve” in an attempt not to overwhelm the healthcare system, the ICs, by limiting the number of severe cases. Virologists are hopeful that the Coronavirus acts in a similar manner as the flu, being less contagious once Spring and Summer arrive.

Danish travelers returning home to Denmark are requested to stay at home in self-quarantine for 14 days. Further, the Danish government decided to close the borders to most foreigners on the 14th March until at least Easter Monday (13th April) in order to help with slowing the virus.

“All tourists, all travel, all vacations, and all foreigners who cannot demonstrate a credible reason to enter Denmark will be denied entrance at the Danish border,” Prime Minister of Denmark, Mette Frederiksen said.

Citizens and those who work in Denmark are still able to enter and leave the country. However as of the 18th of March, events that involve more than ten people have been banned until at least the end of the month. Those public-sector workers whose jobs are not vital at the moment have been sent on leave.

As of now, the country of 5.7 million people has 1,450 confirmed cases and 24 confirmed deaths in the wake of the coronavirus.

What does this mean for education and businesses?

As of 13th March, all universities and schools closed their doors and switched to distance learning. At the moment educational facilities are urging students to stay at home yet continue their studies online. According to the website of the Technical University of Denmark, “full effort is being made to get the technical facilities for distance education up and running”. The education system seems to be rising to the challenging situation caused by the virus but whether it is a success story, only time will tell.

As for e-commerce, online businesses have seen more activity with an increasing number of people turning to online shopping in order to avoid leaving their homes as much as possible., a popular food delivery company is planning to employ 200 new workers in the following weeks so they can handle and efficiently serve the spike in demand.

While 71% of e-commerce companies do not plan on letting go of any of their staff, 2% have already dismissed some employees. The companies where physical presence is not essential for conducting business are trying to follow governmental advice and have asked their employees to work from home.

The virus is not the only factor causing disruptions in business

Despite the flow of food, medicine and supplies continuing normally both into and out of the country, the misleading international media coverage of the country’s lockdown has given the impression that it also affects businesses and industries. The headlines have already caused some disruptions in foreign deliveries due to the inadequately worded headlines. Thus one of the concerns is to make sure Danish companies do not end up losing contracts or orders as a result of the misunderstandings. Since the start of the outbreak, 46% of e-commerce businesses have reported that their exports have been affected in some ways.

The government’s swift attempt to support people in keeping their jobs

In order to alleviate the financial burden of workers and companies, the Danish government announced they would pay 75% of employees’ salaries for the next three months. With the companies only having to pay the remainder if they pledge not to fire staff.

While the country has shown an agile response to the coronavirus and the impending crisis in both its healthcare and employment measures when the political will is present. Thus, no one knows what happens after the three months are over as it is likely that it is not enough to solve the problems of the deep recession to follow.


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