Denmark's Mink Kovid crisis worsens This is what it means

Sunday, 08 Nov, 2020

The Prime Minister of Denmark, Meteo Frederickson, said on Wednesday that the decision to ban the dots was taken "with a heavy heart" but was based on a recommendation from health officials.

"We have a great responsibility towards our own population, but with the mutation that has now been found, we have an even greater responsibility for the rest of the world as well", Frederiksen was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Denmark announced that it will completely cull mink animals after it discovered evidence that the disease that causes the new Corona virus has mutated in the mink, after its transmission through humans.

In Friday's press conference, World Health Organization officials said there was no immediate danger to humans from this particular strain of the coronavirus, which has been identified in mink farms in Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands.

The ecology ministry confirmed the news on November 5, after Denmark reported a new outbreak of a suspected Covid-19 mutation at one of its farms. About 200 coronavirus cases in total can be traced to exposure from mink.

He also welcomed Denmark's plan to test up to 280,000 Danish citizens in infected North Jutland and praised the government for sharing knowledge about the new mink mutation. Danish scientists believe the new strain may have increased resistance to future Covid-19 vaccines.

Denmark was also added to Scotland's travel quarantine list, with First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announcing the move at the Scottish government's coronavirus briefing on Friday, minutes before it came into effect at 12.30pm. "This is critical in being able to track the virus in case of any local outbreaks", the Transport department said.

All Danish mink people should be selected quickly to prevent the spread of the new mutant form of the virus.

"That is a concern because mammal species like mink are very good hosts and the virus can evolve within those species especially if they are in large numbers packed closely together", he said.

Why are minks at risk of coronavirus?

"The danger is that the mutated virus could then spread back into man and evade any vaccine response which would have been created to the original, non-mutated version of the spike protein, and not the mink-adapted version". More than a quarter million Danes went into lockdown in the northern region of the country where the mutated variation of the coronavirus has infected minks being farmed for their fur, leading to an order to kill millions of the animals. James Wood of Cambridge University said he understands that the mutation is due to the spike protein that the virus uses to enter cells and that induces an antibody response.