Copenhagen – Nothing has confused the Danes more in recent weeks than the authorities’ chaos of numbers on omicrons, hospitalizations and deaths.
As early as the end of 2021, Henrik Ullum, head of the Danish Robert Koch Institute, admitted that the numbers were wrong. Because at his Statens Serums Institut (SSI), there has been no difference – probably since April – due to incorrect data transmission when it comes to the question of whether the hospital patients had received Covid-19 as a first or second diagnosis.
That means: Anyone who came to the hospital with a broken arm naturally had the broken bone as the initial diagnosis. If he tested positive when he was admitted to the mandatory test, Corona was the second diagnosis. Even if he had no or hardly any symptoms, he later appeared in the statistics of hospitalized corona patients.
At a press conference on Wednesday, the head of the SSI and the Minister of Health once again clearly admitted the mistake and promised a speedy improvement.
Denmark’s largest tabloid – “Ekstra Bladet” – took the situation as an opportunity to apologize to all readers. Because it was also the task of the press to take a closer look at the numbers.
That’s what “Ekstra Bladet” says in its apology
Ekstra Bladet journalist Brian Weichardt writes in an editorial entitled “We Failed”:
“For almost two years now, we – the press and the public – have been dealing with the authorities’ corona numbers on a daily basis, almost as if under hypnosis. We stared at the oscillations of the number pendulum when it came to infected people, hospitalizations and corona deaths. And we had the meaning of the smallest pendulum movement explained to us by experts, politicians and authorities who constantly warned us about the sleeping Corona monster under our beds. A monster just waiting for us to fall asleep so it could strike in the gloom and darkness of the night. This constant mental alertness has taken a toll on us all. That is why we – the press – must also take stock of our own efforts. And we failed.“
However, “Ekstra Bladet” does not want to protect the authorities. On the contrary. It goes on to say: “Of course, the authorities are primarily responsible for informing the population correctly, accurately and honestly.” says Weichardt.
Ultimately, however, the press should have asked more intensively, according to the newspaper
“We were not vigilant enough at the garden gate when it came to the question of whether people are being hospitalized with Corona and not because of Corona. That makes a difference. A big difference. The official hospital admission figures are proven to be 27 percent higher than the actual number of hospital admissions. We only know that now.”
And now? In the future, SSI will differentiate between primary and secondary diagnoses. From January 13th, all numbers should be correctly transferred and published.