Denmark will close seven municipalities in the north of the country on the Jutland peninsula due to a coronavirus mutation transmitted back from minks to humans. They will kill 17 million minks. Coronavirus infection was detected in 207 farms, but not all of them have a mutation that weakens the immune response.
In seven municipalities, bars, restaurants, and covered sports grounds will be closed for four weeks. There will also be no public transport, and the possibility of leaving or coming to these municipalities will be limited.
“I think it will be necessary to isolate the area north of the Limfjorden from the rest of the country. Anything else means leaving the barn door open so the horses can run away,” said virologist Allan Randrup Thomsen. According to him, it is necessary to intervene immediately before the new mutation spreads. It is also essential to prevent transmission between people.
Kåre Mølbak, director of the State Serum Institute, said that half of the people diagnosed with the new coronavirus became infected with a mutation known from minks in northern Jutland. However, only nine percent of infected people had a mutation in the body called cluster 5, which reduces antibodies’ effectiveness in the body. Still, it’s more than initially thought.
Coronavirus Mutation Might Reduce Vaccine Effectiveness
Spreading the cluster 5 mutation could also reduce the effectiveness of a possible coronavirus vaccine. In the north of the Jutland peninsula, the disease is spreading; the reproduction number is higher than one.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that minks serve the virus well as a reservoir. He, therefore, agrees with the discharge of the minks. “Of course, there is a risk that the mink population could somehow contribute to the transmission of the virus to humans, which would then spread from person to person,” said Catherine Smallwood of the WHO Crisis Bureau in Europe.
Hans Kluge, Director of the WHO branch for Europe, praised Denmark for its determination and courage to unload 17 million minks, which will have a significant economic impact.