Up to 1.5 million minks are likely to be put down at dozens of mink farms in Denmark due to the spread of Covid-19 amongst the animals.
As of Monday this week, coronavirus has been detected at 76 mink farms in the Nordic country, around 7 percent of all Danish mink farms. The first case of Covid-19 in Danish mink was discovered in North Jutland in June.
Subsequently, the government has recommended that all minks be put down at farms where cases are detected as well as within a 7.8-kilometre radius of the farms.
That means as many as 1.5 million minks could be euthanised due to the outbreaks, Danish news wire Ritzau has reported.
Health authorities in the country are seriously concerned about the ability of Covid-19 to be transmitted by minks.
The virus spreads very quickly between farmed mink. Newspaper Information reports that health authorities are concerned about mutations of the virus in minks that could reduce the effectiveness of a future vaccine in humans infected with mink variations of the coronavirus.
Minks are particularly susceptible to coronavirus and conditions on the farms, at which thousands of animals are packed closely in cages, enable rapid transmission and mutations in so-called “reservoirs” of the virus, according to Information’s report.
The Danish Veterinary Consortium, under the auspices of infectious diseases institute SSI and the University of Copenhagen, has warned that two new variants of Covid-19 are “particularly concerning”, Information reports.
The government has stepped up its response to mink infections as the number of affected farms has increased in October.
While all mink on affected farms were culled during the original June outbreak, this response was scaled back before being later being reinstated along with the extension to farms within a 7.8-kilometre radius of outbreaks.
A link between an infected mink farm and infections and deaths due to Covid-19 at a care home in Hjørring had been found prior to this, according to Information’s report.
The animals are normally slaughtered around November for the use of their fur.
Local politicians have called for the central government to only euthanise infected mink, citing the impact of the culling on jobs in the mink farming industry.
Municipal leaders have sent an open letter to foods minister Mogens Jensen, finance minister Nicolai Wammen and business minister Simon Kollerup.
“We mayors are in genuine fear for the continued existence of the mink industry,” the letter states according to TV Midtvest.
The mayors argued that the response risks “crushing an industry with many jobs and annual exports of around five billion (kroner)”.
Their requests include minks at farms with the 7.8-kilometre radius be initially tested for Covid-19, rather than culled.
Courtesy of thelocal.dk
Coronavirus: France declares state of emergency as night-time lockdown imposed on Paris and eight other cities
A state of emergency has been declared in France, and President Emmanuel Macron has announced a curfew between 9pm and 6am for the areas worst-affected by coronavirus.
Ile-de-France and eight metropolitan areas – including Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Saint Etienne and Toulouse – will face the curfews for four weeks, starting on Saturday.
During the curfew hours, people will not be allowed to go to restaurants or visit friends – but there will be no restrictions on public transport or on people travelling within regions.
Anyone who is out during the curfew will need to have a good reason, the president said.
Further details will be announced on Thursday, including exemptions for those working during curfew hours.
Speaking on French television, Mr Macron said the situation was “worrying” but the country had not yet “lost control” of the pandemic. He did, however, say the country was experiencing a second wave.
Mr Macron went on to say that anyone breaking the curfew rules would be fined €135 (£122).
He also said there should be no more than six people around the table for family gatherings, although exceptions could be made for those with more than six in their immediate family.
“The message I want to send this evening is that I need each of you, we need each other, to find solutions,” he said.
“We will come out of this stronger, because we will be more united. We will get through this, together.”
The French government earlier said the public health state of emergency will begin at midnight on Friday.
In a statement, the government said COVID-19 was a disaster which endangered the health of the population and justified the adoption of strict measures.
Areas under the maximum alert level have already had to close bars and restaurants are operating under restricted hours.
The move comes as the number of people in hospital with coronavirus in France has risen to more than 9,100 for the first time since the end of June.
The country reported 22,591 new daily cases on Wednesday, the third time in six days the daily total has surpassed 20,000.
Courtesy of Sky News