The Prime Minister’s Office convened a press conference on Wednesday afternoon on the situation with corona infection among mink. All mink in the country must be killed, the prime minister said.
The government has decided that all mink herds must be killed because a coronavirus mutation has occurred among mink.
This was stated by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (S) at a press conference convened by the Prime Minister’s Office at 4 pm. The convening notice states that the press conference will be about the situation with covid-19 infection in mink and the handling of it.
– It is a decision we as a government make with a heavy heart. I would like to express my sympathy for the Danish mink breeders. Many of you lose your life’s work, says Mette Frederiksen.
At the meeting, the Prime Minister states that there has been evidence that the virus has mutated in mink and has spread to humans. The mutated virus carries a risk that a future vaccine may not work as it should. So far, 12 infected with this new type of covid-19 have been registered.
The memo has not been published yet, but it was sent to the Ministry of Health on Tuesday.
Health Minister Magnus Heunicke says at the press conference that the Statens Serum Institut has found a mutation in samples from five different mink farms, and he emphasizes, like the Prime Minister, that it is a threat to the global fight for a covid-19 vaccine.
Studies have shown that the mutations may affect the current candidates for a covid-19 vaccine. It is a threat to the development of coronavirus vaccines. That is why it is important that we make a national effort.
Spread to 1,100 farms
Kåre Mølbak, Academic Director of the Statens Serum Institut, says:
– It will be a major concern for public health if such a virus makes further changes. It is not the case that we say that the vaccines will not work at the moment, but it is timely care, says Mølbak, who emphasizes that it is both a national and international threat.
Coronavirus has spread rapidly among the more than 1100 mink farms in Denmark. North Jutland mink farms in particular have been hit hard.
– The authorities recommend that we launch a number of local initiatives in the municipalities where the virus has been seen mutated, says the Prime Minister.
There are a number of municipalities in North Jutland where the mutated virus has been seen to be spread in the population, it is said. These include Jammerbugt, Hjørring, Frederikshavn and Læsø.
According to the latest figures from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration, corona infection has been found on 207 mink farms. 67 mink farms have had their herds killed, and 23 mink farms are under suspicion.
The press conference will be attended by Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (S) virtually.
She is currently in self-isolation and is waiting to receive an answer to a coronation test, after she has sat in the same meeting as Minister of Justice Nick Hækkerup (S), who is infected with coronavirus.
The other participants are Minister of Health Magnus Heunicke (S), Minister of Trade and Industry Simon Kollerup (S), Minister of Food Mogens Jensen (S) and director of the Statens Serium Institut Kaare Mølbak.