Denmark, US Among 6 Nations That Reported COVID On Mink Farms: WHO

The Danish government said that at least 216 out of 1139 fur farms in Denmark have been infected.

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As a precautionary measure, up to 17 million minks will be culled to protect people in Denmark.

The World Health Organisation has listed six countries that have reported new cases of coronavirus that are linked to mink farms. These nations include Denmark, United States of America, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden, a WHO statement said, AFP reported.

As many as 1.7 crore minks will be culled in Denmark after a mutated form of coronavirus was found on the animal's farms. As reported by the Times of India, 214 people have been said to have infected mutated coronavirus strain that has been linked to minks in Denmark.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen earlier this week told reporters that a mutated strain of the coronavirus was detected at mink farms in the North Jutland region, reported Hindustan Times.

According to the official, the mutated virus can be transmitted to humans. While it has already been detected in several people and compromises the effectiveness of future COVID-19 vaccines, as a precautionary measure, up to 17 million minks will be culled to protect people.
“We have been informed by Denmark of a number of persons infected with coronavirus from mink, with some genetic changes in the virus. The Danish authorities are investigating the epidemiological and virological significance of these findings, and culling the mink population. We are in touch with them to find more about this incident,” the spokesperson of the Danish Authorities said.
Danish Government

Danish police and army personnel will help to carry out the mass cull in more than 1,000 farms.

Denmark is the world’s biggest producer of mink fur and its main export markets are China and Hong Kong. More than five crore minks a year are bred for their fur in China, Denmark, the Netherlands and Poland.

WHO Downplays Covid Mutation Risk

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier said that it was was monitoring the mutation and that it was too early to tell if it posed any risk to humans or would undo the impact of a potential vaccine.

Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program said that the evidence that they have doesn't suggest that this variant is in any way different than the way it behaves.

However Denmark’s Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said that the step has been taken to protect unaffected minks.

“We would rather go a step too far than take a step too little to combat Covid-19,” he said, adding that the Scandinavian country had neither “overreacted nor taken the decision lightly.”

(With inputs from Times of India, Hindustan Times, AFP)

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