Denmark Imposing New Lockdown After Discovering Mutated Coronavirus Strains In Minks

Authorities in Denmark have announced a lockdown set to be introduced in some parts of the country after finding a coronavirus mutation in minks that can spread to humans. According to BBC News, the government has also warned that any vaccine which is released in the future could be affected by this finding as the effectiveness could be hampered.

Denmark is the world’s largest supplier of mink fur, with their biggest export markets in China and Hong Kong. Danish authorities previously announced plans to cull all the country’s mink, which is reported to represent a population of 17 million.

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Bars, restaurants, public transport, and public indoor sports will be closed in seven municipalities in North Jutland as of this Friday until December 3.

The World Health Organization has said mink appear to be “good reservoirs” of coronavirus and also commended Denmark for deciding to cull the animal’s population despite the vast economic impact. Spain culled 100,000 mink back in July after cases popped up at a farm in the Aragon province. Tens of thousands of animals were slaughtered in Holland following farm outbreaks there.

Minks were said to have contracted the coronavirus from human beings but, following investigations, it’s been determined that the disease has gone the other way as well.

“Right now the eyes of the world are resting on us,” Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at a press conference this week. “I hope and believe that together we can solve the problems we face.”

Frederiksen also claimed the mutated virus weakens the body’s ability to form antibodies, which could render vaccines currently under development ineffective.

According to Health Minister Magnus Heunicke, half of the 783 human cases reported in the north of Denmark are related to a strain coming from mink farms. COVID-19 cases are quickly spreading in the country with over 200 farms in Jutland affected. Authorities say 12 people have been infected with the mutated strain.

Denmark has registered 52,265 human cases of COVID-19 along with 733 deaths.

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Source: BBC News

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