Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced a lockdown for seven municipalities in northern Denmark on Thursday. The reason is a mutation of the coronavirus in mink that has also recently been found in humans.
No signs of mutations in mink in the Netherlands
Bars and restaurants will close and public transport and indoor sports activities will be shut down. People are urged not to travel to and from the affected region.
On Wednesday, the prime minister decided to have all 17 million minks in the country killed for fear of the mutations found in the fur animals. According to the Danish health authorities, a mutated version of the virus had been found in at least 12 people.
Other countries could also be at risk, according to Frederiksen. Denmark is one of the world’s largest producers of mink fur. In addition, she said the mutated virus in mink could potentially pose a risk to the effectiveness of a future corona vaccine.
World Health Organization WHO calls the Danes’ decision to cull their entire mink population on Thursday “determined and courageous” as it “has a major economic impact”.
Mink pose a risk because the animals contribute to the spread of the coronavirus to humans. The animals also serve as a “reservoir” for the virus, according to the WHO.
In the Netherlands too, persistent infections in mink have been detected in recent months. Mink farms have therefore been cleared on a large scale. Since the start of the corona crisis, more than a million minks have been gassed in our country.
Minister Hugo de Jonge (Public Health) announced on Wednesday that the cabinet has no signs yet that the corona virus has mutated in mink in the Netherlands.
The cabinet wants to put a definitive end to mink breeding by March 2021. That is three years earlier than planned.