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Danish corona mink mutation 'most likely eradicated': ministry

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    Agence France-Presse

Copenhagen, Denmark   /   Thu, November 19, 2020   /   07:35 pm
 Danish corona mink mutation 'most likely eradicated': ministry A truck unloads dead mink into a ditch as members of Danish health authorities assisted by members of the Danish Armed Forces bury the animals in a military area near Holstebro, Denmark on November 9, 2020. Danish mink will be buried in mass graves on military land as the country's incinerators and rendering plants struggle to keep up, the Danish environmental and health authorities announced. Denmark will cull about 17 million mink after a mutated form of coronavirus that can spread to humans was found on mink farms. (Agence France Presse/epost-robot)

A mutated version of the new coronavirus detected in Danish minks that raised concerns about the effectiveness of a future vaccine has likely been eradicated, Denmark's health ministry said Thursday.

"There have been no new cases of the 'Cluster 5' mink mutation since September 15, which has led to the Danish infectious disease authority SSI to conclude that this variant has most likely been eradicated," the ministry said in a statement, after the government ordered a cull of all the country's 15 to 17 million minks in a bid to halt the spread of the variant.

The government said most of the strict restrictions it had imposed on November 5 on seven municipalities in the North Jutland region, home to 280,000 people, would be lifted on Friday.

They had originally been due to stay in place until December 3.

All minks in the seven municipalities have been culled, totalling 10.2 million, and the slaughter is still ongoing in other parts of the country.

With three times more minks than people, the Scandinavian country is the world's biggest exporter, selling pelts for around 670 million euros ($792 million) annually, and the second-biggest producer behind China.