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Brostrøm was ignored as the country closed

the Extra Leaf has gained an insight into a hitherto unknown correspondence between coronageneral Søren Brostrøm and his boss, the director of the ministry of Health, Per Okkels.

These e-mails reveal that the national board of Health director, Brostrøm, earnestly warned against the closure of Denmark in the hours before the historic event was announced 11. march at a press conference of the prime minister Mette Frederiksen (S).

But the health ministry's permanent secretary, Per Okkels, would not bring Brostrøms warnings - which were aligned with the academic director of the Statens Serum Institut Kåre Mølbak - on to the government.

Brostrøm argued otherwise, that the comprehensive closure, which was laid up, was out of all proportion.

'the principle of Proportionality in the first few weeks, I have thus failed, and left to a government decision,' answered the director to Brostrøm.

His warning reached not the government, before the country was shut down.

Exchange can strengthen the existing perception that the government took the drastic decision concerning the closure itself– and only later informed the health authorities, as the people gained the impression, was involved in the decision.

Ekstra Bladet has tried to get an interview with both Brostrøm and Okkels.

Dear Joe,

In continuation of this, and as just discussed, then I can state the following:

Subject. questions about the complete closure of crèches, kindergartens, day care, schools, etc., so we can't based on medical reasons recommend such action in the current situation. This is bl.a. based on children is not a significant risk, and monitor COVID-19 disease, and is therefore not likely to contribute to the spread of infection in the significant extent. Our assessment is also based on a proportionality assessment of the expected preventive effect ift. the derived effects on the critical societal functions, including health - and elderly care, where staff can be challenged by monitor. the safeguarding of jobs, when there is no day care for their children.

As indicated in the attachment setting, which is drawn up under the auspices of NOST, and with contributions from the us, so can the extension of the vacation and weekends should be considered as actions from a, from a concrete assessment of the smittespredningsomfang, since again there should be a proportionality and proximity. the expected preventive effect ift. the derived effects on the critical societal functions, including health - and elderly care. It is our medical assessment, that it is for birth of preterm babies to take such action at the present time. In this assessment included several considerations. Essentially, to skiftets from the containment to the afbødningsstrategi, as outlined in the attached, in advance, will mean a significant slow-down of societal functions, public place, the conduct of functions at public and private institutions m.v., in it we with the foreslåedes increase in afbødningsstrategien will require that staff in health and elderly care should be at home, even at ease symptoms such as forkølelses m.v., and that we will recommend corresponding increase in other sectors. This will already mean a significant reduction of the essential activities, but to an extent as can be defended by monitor. the principle of proportionality. We must also point out that a premature and substantial reduction of essential societal functions also can have derivative consequences of the ift. public health, f.ex. as a result of the supply situation, the transport m.v.

An extension of f.ex. The easter holidays in Denmark, from a health perspective, is inserted at a point in time where we from the public health side assess to smittespredningspotentialet has, to an extent that warrants such action. This can f.ex. also include the decommissioning of elective and outpatient functions in the health care of an extended holiday, also at a time when the health service has not yet been udfordretaf COVID-19 burden of disease, but based on a consideration of reducing the possible spread of infection among staff in the health and elderly care, so that there can be staff at the big burden of disease. It is important, however, that such a slowdown is not inserted too early, as there experience over time will build up a backlog of elective and sub-acute patients who get the deteriorating bother, and therefore are being converted to acute eligible and disease f.ex. worsening pain conditions, bleeding disorders with fallen blood percent, the gallstones with accumulated smerteanfald m.v. thus, there is a consideration to keep the full elective capacity in the health service so long as it is securely ift, a smitteforebyggende aim.

Based on general epidemiological considerations, and based on actual experience with the COVID-19 epidemics in the bl.a. China and Italy, so it is immediately our assessment is that such an extended vacation is probably the greatest benefit can be inserted from week 14 and onwards. We will be able to make an ongoing epidemiological and health assessment, which also takes into account the maintenance of critical functions in health and elderly care, so that we can advise the political level in the best way possible.

It is on the basis, in our health care setting, that are awaiting the announcement of further actions in addition to the attachments outlined, until we from the public health side assess that it is appropriate.

the Above has been discussed with the technical director, professor Kåre Mølbak, Statens Serum Institut.

Many greetings, Søren

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the Email above from Søren Brostrøm was a reply to an email, as Okkels had sent him, and that was about the forthcoming shutdown because of the spread of corona.

Dear Søren.

Thank you for the forwarded. As I hear it we are on our way towards a decision about 4 weeks in a row covering the period up to and including easter.

In this context, it is surely difficult, from a narrow professional perspective - to see a negative effect of the measure.

the principle of Proportionality in the first few weeks, I have thus failed, and left to a government decision.


The 'principle of proportionality', as Okkels mentions in the above mail, refers to the Brostrøms warnings that the planned shutdown was out of proportion.

law professor Stone Bønsing states that Brostrøm comes with some very clear professional warnings Okkels.

- And Per Okkels not come on. Thus, he does something of a responsibility for the assistance and advice given to the government.

Bønsing stresses that you don't know what Okkels may have passed by Brostrøms objections to the government.

- Either have Okkels said to the government: It is fine. We have no comments. Or has he just used, when the government has presented its decision to close the institutions and not said anything. Both are, of course, seen a problem, says Bønsing.

- It is a problem, because a part of the professional assessments, as officials (Brostrøm and the other, red.) comes with goes precisely on the proportionality, says Steen Bønsing.

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