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Denmark prepares to ease lockdown, balancing economy with coronavirus


* Denmark becomes the first non-Asian country to relax curbs

※ Stable number

* Country tries to balance economy and public security

* Authorities seem confident in stopping the second outbreak

* Many questions whether that stance is well-founded

By Stine Jacobsen and Nikolaj Skydsgaard

Copenhagen, April 3 (Reuters)-Denmark is expected to unveil plans to ease the blockade of coronavirus this weekend, becoming the first mitigating country outside Asia and putting the risk of a severe recession at risk Second outbreak that could be more dangerous for Danish society.

The Nordic country is one of the first closed countries in Europe, and as the number of coronavirus cases is stable, many other governments around the world lay before them regarding resuming. Face a tough decision to be.

On March 11, the Danish government ordered the closure of schools, daycare centers, restaurants, cafes and gyms, closing all borders for most foreigners.

The government announced on Monday that if the number of cases and deaths remained stable, it would gradually release lockdown after Easter, confident that it could clearly protect the public from the second outbreak. .

After consulting with other stakeholders in the government, Frederiksen said he hopes to be able to provide a plan for the first phase of resumption by the end of this week.

However, many Danes question whether government confidence is well established.

Kashmkarn, co-owner and head chef of a small Latin American restaurant in central Copenhagen, praises the government’s speedy decision to close the country, but reopening after Easter is premature, and indeed Is concerned that it may delay returning to normal.

“Risk the three-week very strict quarantine ends up with no value … risk of having to shut down again because there is no reason to open it,” he told Reuters.

When considering whether to ease regulations, the government is trying to balance the need to keep the population safe with the economic risks of a severe depression.

“Political choice”

“The situation we are in is much more complicated than thanking human life,” said Met Frederiksen, the country’s prime minister, on Monday.

“It’s not about health or the economy, and you can’t open a textbook to find the right answer,” she added, “math is too simple.”

Denmark, which imposes less severe restrictions on daily life than Italy and France, reported 139 coronavirus-related deaths as of Friday, and the number of patients hospitalized this week has dropped.

“What we’ve done so far is very clever, but before we dared to say that the curve was broken, we would have wanted it to develop for a longer period of time,” said the University of University’s Clinical Microbiologist. Professor Hans Jorn Kolmos in southern Denmark.

“The strategy we follow is a political choice,” Frederiksen said on Monday.

Khan, the owner of the restaurant, keeps the take-out kitchen open with the help of his pregnant girlfriend and the remaining two staff members.

“Is it really worth the risk of getting sick, rather than closing the place? That was the hardest decision,” Khan said.

Additional report by Andreas Mortensen. Written by Jacob
Gronholt Pedersen, edited by William McLean


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