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- 64.7 Public Health
- 72.9 Financial
- 100 Fact-Based
Denmark's score is very strong, due to a robust healthcare system and to generous fiscal responses that safeguarded employment. Public health directives have improved substantially in recent months.
Denmark’s universal healthcare system, coupled with a high GDP per capita and low debt-to-GDP ratio have contributed to its effective pandemic-response policies, though it is hurt by its low number of hospital beds.
- Debt/GDP ratio 34.3%
- GDP/capita $55,675
- Gini coefficient (out of 100) 28.7
- Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 4
- Healthcare access score (out of 100) 85.7
- Hospital beds/1,000 People 17.5
Government ResponseSelect a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Mar 15.)
Public Health Directives
Denmark’s very high testing levels and increasingly strong social restrictions help overcome its relatively low emergency healthcare spending to give it a strong public health score.
- Stay at home order 1
- Public gathering restrictions 4
- School closings 2
- Public event cancellations 2
- Testing policy 3
- Emergency healthcare investments/capita $16.53
- Travel restrictions 4
- Tests/1,000 people 3314.8
- Contact tracing 1
Denmark’s financial response was strong, with strong income and debt support overcoming a limited stimulus.
- Financial stimulus as share of GDP 16%
- Income support 2
- Debt forebearance 0
Denmark’s prime minister conducts weekly briefings that emphasise clear, fact-based messages.
- Reliance on science/fact based information 0
- Press freedom 0
COVID-19 Status as of Mar 15
Denmark scores relatively strongly in this category, with a fairly low death rate and a very low positivity rate.
- Total deaths 830
- Death rate per 100K 143.2
- Total cases 221,763
- Cases per 100K 2
- Percent of positive tests 0.5
- Change in positivity rates -2.7
|1||Apr 15||Primary schools reopen||29.35|
|2||Apr 20||Non-essential health care services and some businesses, such as hair salons, reopen||22.62|
|3||May 11||Retail stores reopen||14.50|
|4||May 18||Restaurants and secondary schools reopen||7.08|
|5||May 21||Museums and zoos reopen||11.22|
|6||May 27||Cultural activities reopen||9.15|
|7||Jun 08||Numbers allowed at public gatherings raised from 10 to 50||2.42|
|8||Jul 01||Numbers allowed at public gatherings raised from 50 to 100||4.49|
|9||Aug 22||Facemasks mandatory on public transportation||19.34|
|10||Sep 19||Public gatherings limited to 50 people, and bars and restaurants must close at 10pm, until October 4th||101.86|
|11||Dec 07||Implemented targeted lockdowns in 38 of 98 municipalities||353.23|
|12||Dec 15||Lockdown extended to all municipalities||516.90|
|13||Jan 13||Lockdown extended until February 7||234.63|
|14||Jan 28||Lockdown extended to 2/28||115.33|
- More European nations pause AstraZeneca vaccine use as blood clot reports investigated: Denmark, Iceland, and Norway have suspended the use of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine while the EU's medicines regulator investigates reports of blood clots. Denmark announced a two-week suspension on March 11th following multiple reports, including one fatality. Read More
- Denmark is introducing vaccine passports, eliminating the need to quarantine: Denmark is introducing vaccine passports as a way to boost travel; the digital documents will provide proof of a traveler's COVID-related health, but opponents fear it could create billions of second-class citizens. Read More
- Austria and Denmark plan vaccines with Israel to bolster slow EU supply: Spurred by the slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines within the EU, Denmark and Austria are joining forces with Israel to produce second-generation vaccines against coronavirus mutations. Read More
- Culled minks infected with COVID-19 rise from mass graves: After a mutated strain of COVID-19 was detected in Denmark's mink population, the nation planned to cull all 15 million minks in the country. However, the animals were buried in graves that were too shallow, and rose through the soil as the bodies decayed, prompting renewed concerns around contracting the virus. Read More
- Early success opening schools: Managing the outbreak through a nationwide lockdown helped to enable the opening of schools, with the youngest pupils returning first in limited cohorts; mandatory masks and handwashing set an example for other nations. Read More
- High wage-reimbursement levels: Denmark has kept its rate of unemployment low by reimbursing companies for up to 90 percent of furloughed workers' wages. Read More
- Early action enabling slow re-opening: The government has taken a two-part approach to the pandemic, initially focused on suppression via lockdown, and then mitigation, including contact tracing. In April, it became the first European country to re-open schools. Read More
Compared with Neighboring Countries
Per 1M 791
Norway scores just below the median, pulled down by its weak public health and financial response scores, despite a strong reliance on facts and a free press.
Per 1M 3,938
Despite being known for a relatively strong public healthcare system, Sweden has been hit hard with cases; the country’s lack of stay-at-home orders and school closures, limited testing, and few gathering restrictions overshadowed its financial support, reliance on facts, and accountability with an open press.
Per 1M 10,229
Germany has improved its score a bit in the past few months, after a sharp decline in the fall. Its improvements in contact tracing, which are already likely underestimated in the data, and restrictions on public gatherings, have played important roles in this turnaround, although there has been a recent spike in cases, likely due to both recent restriction relaxations and vaccine rollout issues.
Further Reading From Foreign Policy
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Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:
- Debt to GDP ratio
- Infant mortality rates
- Hospital beds per 1,000 people
- Gini coefficients measuring inequality
- Health access and quality
COVID-19 Public Health Directives:
- Stay-at home orders
- School-closing policy
- Public-gathering restrictions
- Cancellation of public events
- Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
- Emergency healthcare spending per capita
- Travel restrictions
- Contact tracing
COVID-19 Financial Response:
- Stimulus package as a share of GDP
- Income support
- Instances of misinformation by leadership
- Limitations on press freedom, censorship
Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:
- Death rates per 1 million
- Case rates per 1 million