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https://novonordiskfonden.dk/en/grants-awarded-for-projects-to-mitigate-the-adverse-health-effects-of-the-coronavirus-epidemic-in-denmark/

Grants awarded for projects to mitigate the adverse health effects of the coronavirus epidemic in Denmark

Grants awarded for projects to mitigate the adverse health effects of the coronavirus epidemic in Denmark

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The Novo Nordisk Foundation has awarded a total of DKK 82.5 million for 45 projects that aim to mitigate the short-term health-related effects of the COVID-19 epidemic across the Danish Realm. The Foundation’s emergency coronavirus programme is now closed for applications. Read about the projects below.

Grants awarded for projects to mitigate the adverse health effects of the coronavirus epidemic in Denmark

The Copenhagen SARS-CoV-2 antibody initiative, Rigshospitalet: DKK 4,803,750
Molecular testing of SARS-CoV-2 identifies individuals that are currently infected with the virus. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing identifies previously infected individuals. Our group at Rigshospitalet and University of Copenhagen in collaboration with Novo Nordisk A/S has developed different antibody assays to monitor the immune response against SARS-CoV-2. We now want to perform an in-depth investigation of which SARS-CoV-2 antigens the immune response is directed against. Additionally, we want to investigate what types of antibodies that are generated during the infection, including their affinity and avidity and whether the antibodies indeed are protective or not. This type of knowledge will enable a better understanding of the duration of a SARS-Cov-2 antibody response and if the antibodies provide immunity against the virus. This information can also help the authorities to understand how widespread the SAR-Cov-2 infection is in the society and could help support the development of new treatment and vaccine strategies against COVID-19.

Read more about the project at Sciencenews.dk.

Continuation of PCR testing in Greenland, Department of Health, Greenland: DKK 2,806,00
The main priority right now in Greenland is to contain the spread of the coronavirus. This requires a high-performance laboratory and test capacity for diagnosing COVID-19 in Greenland. Therefore, this project will support a continuation of PCR testing for COVID-19 in the temporary PCR laboratory facilities in Nuuk. Until the establishment of the PCR facilities, tests in Greenland have been sent to Statens Serum Institut in Denmark, but this poses a major challenge, both financially and in terms of the time factor. And in the event of an actual outbreak in Greenland, it may become critical, given the need for speedy test results to avoid a build-up of patients whose status is unresolved and who therefore need to be kept in isolation.

CATCH (Corona Application Tool for Collaborating Hospitals) – a patient database for gaining an overview of and treating coronavirus patients, Rigshospitalet: DKK 4,940,985
The purpose of the project is to develop, optimize and scale the clinical application CATCH, which addresses an acute clinical and administrative need for effective referral, testing and treatment of citizens suspected of having contracted COVID-19 all across Denmark. The system will ensure a speedy, efficient referral of Danish COVID-19 patients, avoiding bottlenecks in the healthcare system and overload situations in individual hospitals. This is achieved by continually collecting local data concerning the spread of the virus and comparing it with data on the capacity of local hospitals. Also, real-time data from electronic patient records will be obtained for COVID-19 patients who are admitted to hospital, which will help to identify the severely ill and the less seriously ill patients and provide suggestions for treatment based on clinical recommendations. Through Artificial Intelligence, the data will be used to pinpoint the most important factors contributing to severe illness. Based on this, it will be possible to generate updated risk assessments for the individual patients, from their admission and onwards.

Evaluating the prevalence and burden of rectal SARS-CoV-2 shedding in the Danish population, North Denmark Regional Hospital: DKK 950,000
The purpose of the project is to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 patients in Denmark who shed SARS-CoV-2 rectally. Based on earlier studies from China, it is expected that SARS-CoV-2 can be detected in stool samples or rectal swabs in more than 50% of Danish COVID-19 patients. All patients who are referred to North Denmark Regional Hospital and the Children’s Ward at Aalborg University Hospital will – in addition to receiving a throat swab – be screened for virus through a rectal swab. Furthermore, the project will monitor all admitted patients to find out for how long coronavirus is secreted through the respiratory passages as well as rectally. The project will also examine if rectal swabs can be used to reduce the number of false-negative test results and thereby minimize the risk of placing COVID-19 patients in open wards rather than isolating them.

Procurement of equipment for monitoring COVID-19 patients at regional hospitals and in villages, and upgrading of health personnel, Agency for Health and Prevention, Greenland: DKK 743,280
With its vast distances and lacking infrastructure, the geography of Greenland makes it a challenge to relocate resources within the healthcare system swiftly and according to need. Therefore, the five regional hospitals and 11 healthcare centres in Greenland must be have the necessary equipment ready in the event of local outbreaks of COVID-19. The purpose of this project is partly to ensure the procurement of extra equipment, so that the healthcare system can manage outbreaks across the entire country, and partly to ensure the necessary supplementary training of health staff so they can handle epidemic patients. Training material will be prepared in Danish as well as Greenlandic, and the healthcare services will provide the training via remote learning, so as to be able to swiftly address the challenges facing the healthcare system in the current situation.

Emergency national research infrastructure for COVID-19 at Ilegusavnið – The Faroe Islands’ National Human Genetics Resource Centre: DKK 612,305
The purpose of the project is to establish a national, broad emergency COVID-19 collaboration over the next six months, with a view to collecting diagnostic blood and tissue samples as well as data relating to COVID-19 in the Faroe Islands. The aim is to build a unique research infrastructure with biological samples and data from all types of patients, including patients with very early stages of COVID-19 infection, patients with mild symptoms, patients with acute, life-threatening infections and patients who have recovered. All the biological samples will be made available free of charge to COVID-19-related research projects for the next two years, provided that the projects have obtained the necessary permits from the Research Ethics Committee and the Faroese Data Protection Agency.

Safety of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin treatment in COVID-19 patients – a probe-COVID-trial substudy, Hvidovre Hospital: DKK 430,000
The project is a supplementary project to the research project “Proactive protection of inpatients with COVID-19 lung disease – Pro-Lung-COVID trial”, for which the University of Copenhagen and Capital Region of Denmark received a grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation last month. This project will focus on examining the safety of a combined treatment using the medications hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. The purpose of this project is to safeguard the clinical applicability of this combined treatment.

Physical exercise for patients with Parkinson’s disease during the coronavirus epidemic, Parkinsonforeningen: DKK 100,000
Many people suffering from Parkinson’s disease experience that their condition improves considerably with regular – and preferably daily – physical exercise. It is important that individuals with Parkinson’s carry out exercises that alleviate their specific symptoms, and therefore they will not be able to follow general online training programmes. Parkinsonforeningen will produce a number of training videos containing exercises targeting people with Parkinson’s, and which can be performed at home. The videos will be structured according to the users’ stage of illness, so that there are exercises for people who have only had the disease for a few years as well as for long-time sufferers. The videos will be made available on YouTube, where they will remain accessible, also after the coronavirus lockdown.

Estimation, simulation and control for optimal containment of COVID-19, Technical University of Denmark and Aalborg University: DKK 4,969,057
The project will develop a decision support tool for the Danish authorities. The aim is to limit the spread of COVIC-19 so as to shorten the epidemic, but without straining the healthcare system beyond its critical capacity in terms of number of intensive care beds, ventilators, etc. This will be done through mathematical modelling, simulation, control and optimization in relation to various possible interventions and measures available to the authorities, such as restrictions on social gatherings, closure of institutions, isolation of potentially infected individuals and isolation of vulnerable citizens. The models will be calibrated on a continuous basis and will thus utilize information provided by data as soon as data from hospitals etc. become available. The developed tool will be enable the authorities to select the combination of interventions and their duration that will have the optimal effect for society. The tool also describes how to establish a gradual and controlled reopening of society. The project will be carried out in collaboration between the Technical University of Denmark and Aalborg University.

Monitoring of the spread of COVID-19 among vulnerable groups, focusing on individuals with mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse as well as homeless people, Psykiatrisk Center København: DKK 1,023,780
Individuals suffering from severe mental illness, alcohol and drug abuse as well as homeless people have a high risk of infection and face a severe course of illness, as they tend to have existing somatic diseases and it can be difficult for them to follow the official guidelines for protection against infection, hygiene and social distancing. Many of them tend to gather in large groups, e.g. in shelters, group homes, care homes and psychiatric wards, which may potentially become infection epicentres. The project will map and monitor the development of the spread of COVID-19 among homeless people and people with mental illness, alcohol and drug addiction. We will compare data from Statens Serum Institut (SSI), which provide information on the spread of infection, with register-based data on mental illness and accommodation in psychiatric group homes and shelters as a measure of homelessness.

Applied artificial intelligence on COVID-19 imaging for risk assessment, Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen: DKK 610,000
X-ray images can be used to show infection patterns in the lungs. This project will develop artificial intelligence (AI) to be able to characterize the type of infection that is shown on x-ray images, the degree of infection as well as the extent to which it resembles a typical COVID-19 infection. This will provide additional knowledge for the risk model that is being developed in the project ”Applied Artificial Intelligence for real-time risk assessment of patients with COVID-19” at Rigshospitalet, also with support of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The hope is that such models can be used by frontline staff when dealing with new COVID-19 patients as well as by planners in the health service. The project team is centred around existing clinical and epidemiological research groups at Rigshospitalet and Bisbebjerg Hospital who have an interest in AI, with support from a team of AI experts from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen.

Establishing emergency shelter in Odense for socially disadvantaged people with COVID-19, Municipality of Odense: DKK 2,425,410
The initiative aims to mitigate the health effects of the COVID-19 epidemic among socially disadvantaged people in the Municipality of Odense. The project will establish an emergency shelter in Odense for socially disadvantaged people with COVID-19. The purpose is to ensure that they receive appropriate care and treatment and that they do not transmit the infection to other socially disadvantaged residents, employees, volunteers and society in general. The project will also work to identify residents with COVID-19 who may need special attention and care and minimize the risk of infection. The project is being carried out in collaboration between the Municipality of Odense, Odense University Hospital and DanChurchSocial.

Managing acutely ill homeless residents, Municipality of Slagelse: DKK 2,069,555
The project aims to reduce transmission and to ensure the needs of homeless residents by bringing together homeless people who are ill and homeless people who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. The project will establish and operate 12 acute wards for homeless residents who are ill and/or have COVID-19. The project is intended to help to break the chain of transmission among homeless people. The project’s experiences will be pooled and evaluated to develop a special preparedness plan for managing transmission and managing acutely ill homeless residents. The Municipality of Slagelse and the Care Home Toften (KFUM Sociale Arbejde) are collaborating on the project.

Extra overnight accommodation for homeless people in Copenhagen, Blue Cross Denmark: DKK 1,791,116
The project enables the number of places for foreign legal residents who are homeless to be increased so that they can stay in a hostel that currently serves as the Blue Cross temporary shelter. The number of places will be increased from 40 to 65 in April and can be maintained at 65 places in May when the shelter was otherwise supposed to close down. The homeless people receive accommodation, food and laundry services and are also offered monitoring by health professionals. This will ensure that these homeless people can largely be kept off the street, thereby reducing the risk of transmission for a very vulnerable group. Quarantine sites will be available if some of these homeless people have symptoms of COVID-19. The project is run by Blue Cross Denmark’s homeless unit Grace.

Can the cardio-renal benefits of new glucose-lowering agents mitigate the excess risk associated with COVID-19 infection in type 2 diabetes? A nationwide registry-based evaluation, Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen: DKK 785,000
Diabetes is a risk factor associated with COVID-19, but the cause of this increased risk is unknown. It could be late complications or elevated blood glucose. The importance of ACE inhibitors for treating blood pressure has been debated, and it is unclear whether new diabetes therapy to protect the heart and kidneys (GLP-1 and SGLT2 inhibitors) could be beneficial in relation to COVID-19. The project will elucidate this based on nationwide registry data. It will analyse what characterizes people with diabetes who test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the risk factors for serious complications and death among people hospitalized with COVID-19. Hopefully, the project may help to identify the people who need special care and who do not have an elevated risk despite having diabetes. The project may also help clarify the importance of treating elevated blood glucose and blood pressure in connection with COVID-19.

Information about COVID-19 for children in Greenland, UNICEF Denmark: DKK 360,000
The project will produce Greenlandic-language information videos on preventing COVID-19 for children and adolescents aged 10–17 years old. The videos focus on preventive measures such as hygiene, information for children about COVID-19 in general and the authorities’ recommendations communicated in a child-friendly way.

Help for especially vulnerable people living with HIV, Danish AIDS Foundation: DKK 336,000
By strengthening counselling, the project will counteract the negative physical and mental health effects of the most exposed people living with HIV who, as a result of COVID-19, experience insecurity and symptoms in relation to comorbidities and mental unwellness and are also cut off from physical consultations. This will be achieved through increased contact with the AIDS Foundation counsellors, new digital tools and intensified counselling after the lockdown period, when the established healthcare system will experience a scarcity of resources.

Website with home exercise videos for people with multiple sclerosis, Danish Multiple Sclerosis Society: DKK 309,750
The Danish Multiple Sclerosis Society’s project will rapidly produce a website that will offer people with multiple sclerosis a wide variety of home training videos on several levels. It has been documented that actively maintaining functional ability is essential for both the ability to be self-reliant, quality of life and reducing the risk of comorbidity. In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, all services for maintaining functional ability among people with multiple sclerosis have been closed. This applies to access to physiotherapy free of charge and admission to multiple sclerosis hospitals, and the project will therefore ensure that people with multiple sclerosis can train at home.

Funding for an informational insert on COVID-19 in Greenland, Mediehuset Sermitsiaq.AG: DKK 241,881
The grant will be used to publish a bilingual informational insert on COVID-19. The insert will appear in Greenland’s two national newspapers Sermitsiaq and AG, and the information will also be available free of charge on the Sermitsiaq.AG website, the country’s most frequently visited news feed. This will make the informational insert accessible to everyone in both the rural and urban areas of Greenland. Finally, the informational insert will be distributed to Nuuk’s 16,500 residents, since all cases of COVID-19 identified so far have been in the densely populated capital. The project is being carried out in collaboration between the Greenlandic media company Sermitsiaq.AG and Greenland’s Ministry of Health.

Community and outreach for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities – during the COVID-19 era, LykkeLiga: DKK 162,500
The Happiness League (LykkeLiga) is Denmark’s largest community for children with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families. The project will ensure continued physical activity and team spirit during a time when the children cannot meet physically. In addition, the project will communicate information to the target group about COVID-19. Children with developmental and intellectual disabilities are especially vulnerable and can easily become isolated in the current situation. Short films will be produced for the children and their families to support and inspire physical activity and social interaction. The films will also inform these children about the COVID-19 crisis in a language they understand and can manage. All content produced in the project will be disseminated openly through the Happiness League’s social media channels and thus be publicly available. In addition, the Happiness League will provide all the experience and knowledge gathered to interested parties.

Information campaign about COVID-19 aimed at ethnic minorities living in Denmark, Danish Refugee Council: DKK 2,650,000
The purpose of the project is to disseminate the Danish health authorities’ key messages about COVID-19 among citizens with an ethnic minority background. This will be done in their relevant native languages through online counselling (chat service), a hotline as well as information materials targeting residents in vulnerable areas, asylum centres etc. In addition, the project will launch a campaign on the social media aimed at young people and organize other ways of disseminating messages from the authorities, e.g. by having them read out aloud and possibly also using illustrations. The campaign will be coordinated with the Danish Health Authority and organized in collaboration with Als Research.

Assistance scheme for vulnerable children and families, Save the Children Denmark: DKK 2,337,525
The project will launch a nationwide assistance scheme for vulnerable children and families whose everyday life is challenged as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. There are families already living under difficult circumstances whose situation deteriorates critically at this stage. Volunteers at Save the Children will assist these families with shopping, activity and creativity packages to engage them in stimulating family activities, advice and guidelines for coping with this crisis, digital social contact as well as provide human contact and psycho-social support through a telephone hotline. The purpose is to safeguard the mental health and well-being among children in vulnerable families as well as to communicate the Danish Health Authority’s recommendations to these exposed citizens.

Identification of the contagion risk among recovered as well as deceased COVID-19 patients, Odense University Hospital: DKK 1,286,250
The purpose of the project is to examine for how long the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains contagious after the infection symptoms have stopped. Currently, a safety margin of 48 hours after cessation of the symptoms is being applied, but we actually do not know if this is sufficient. Moreover, there is uncertainty about the extent to which and for how long COVID-19 is transmissible from deceased persons, which is particularly relevant for personnel handling the deceased. In this project, tests will be carried out where fresh samples from living as well as deceased COVID-19 patients are transferred to lab-grown human cells. By observing the cells and taking measurements, it can be established whether the samples contain a transmissible virus. The expectation is that the project will give a more precise picture of the contagion risk in connection with this virus, and thus contribute to formulating effective guidelines for reducing the spread of the disease.

Applied Artificial Intelligence for real-time risk assessment of patients with COVID-19, Rigshospitalet: DKK 1,210,000
As the COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding, more and more patient data are generated. These can be used to develop new, data-driven decision support models for the benefit of future patients. Based on the latest knowledge about artificial intelligence (AI), analyses of patient records and courses of treatments, the project aims to create a model for estimating newly diagnosed COVID-19 patients’ risk of needing intensive care and ventilator breathing support based on the patient’s available health data. The hope is that such models can be used by frontline staff when dealing with new COVID-19 patients as well as by planners in the health service. In addition, the project will seek to identify patterns in the patient data that may form the basis for new recommendations on how best to treat COVID-19 patients in the future. The project team is centered around existing clinical and epidemiological research groups at Rigshospitalet and Bisbebjerg Hospital who have an interest in AI, with support from a team of AI experts from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Copenhagen.

Establishment of a nationwide system for safeguarding health-professional competencies, Sorø Municipality: DKK 1,125,000
The project will provide e-learning facilities in a range of health-professional areas for newly recruited nursing staff in the municipalities of Denmark who, because of the COVID-19 epidemic, have an acute need of upgrading their skills before they can perform the municipalities’ nursing, health and home care services for their citizens. The platform used will ensure quick access to efficient learning without the need for physical presence. The platform will also enable management to monitor the status of the training digitally as well as get an overview of the competences that are available. Data will be collected for use in connection with similar acute situations in the future.

Acute need of counselling and information for mentally vulnerable citizens in connection with the Coronavirus epidemic, Psykiatrifonden: DKK 395,000
The purpose of the project is to upscale, with immediate effect, Psykiatrifonden’s existing counselling and information services for mentally vulnerable citizens in connection with the Coronavirus epidemic. Besides ensuring the necessary telephone and chat-based counselling, an information site will be established, providing specific and comprehensive advice on mental health during crisis situations. At the same time, the project will collect data from counselling talks, in order to be able to analyse and contribute with knowledge on what health-related consequences the Coronavirus epidemic has for people who are mentally ill or vulnerable, both now and in the future.

Back to school after the Corona pandemic, Danish Red Cross: DKK 211,732
There is a need to follow up on the extraordinary situation caused by the Coronavirus epidemic for school children across the country. In many cases, the teachers will be the first adults outside of the family to discuss the experience with the children. In order to address this, the project will develop a conversation tool that the teachers can use when the children return to school after the lockdown. The conversation tool will provide the teachers with various exercises that they can use, partly to open up to a discussion of sensitive issues and partly to make the pupils reflect on their own way of coping, once the schools reopen.

Clinical testing of low dosage cortisone treatment (applicable beyond COVID-19), Rigshospitalet: DKK 5,000,000
The project will enable Danish hospitals to examine if the use of cortisone for treating inflammations can help patients with COVID-19. The support for this project has been awarded outside of the emergency support programme. Read more about the project here.

Acute national research infrastructure for collecting blood samples for COVID-19, Statens Serum Institut: DKK 3,608,000
The project will establish an immediate, broad and national COVID-19 collaboration over the next six months, in order to collect diagnostic blood samples from hospitals across all of Denmark. The purpose is to build a unique research infrastructure with 500,000 biological samples from all types of patients, including patients with very early stages of COVID-19 infection, patients with acute and life-threatening infections and patients who have recovered from the infection. All biological samples will be made available, free of charge, for COVID-19-related research projects within the next two years.

The effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition and angiotensin II receptor blockade on the course of acute respiratory distress syndrome in COVID-19 patients, Gentofte Hospital: DKK 3,335,000
Many of the most severely affected COVID-19 patients suffer from hypertension and/or diabetes. A majority of them take antihypertensive drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin system (RAS). Through a randomized clinical trial and using Danish registers and databases as well as patient records, this project will determine whether it will be beneficial to continue or stop treating COVID-19 patients in need of hospitalization with RAS inhibitors.

GLYCOVID-19, Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, Herlev & Gentofte Hospital and Hvidovre Hospital: DKK 2,992,500
The project will investigate how COVID-19 affects the heart’s pumping function and the blood’s coagulation ability at various blood glucose levels. Studies have shown that one third of the patients who die from COVID-19 also suffer from diabetes. Changing the monitoring of glucose levels during intensive care can potentially have a negative effect on the heart’s function, especially in patients with high glucose levels prior to their admission. The project will examine diabetes patients as well as COVID-19 positive patients, both with and without diabetes, during the first 24 hours of their admission to intensive care. In addition, as many participants as possible will be examined four weeks after the emergency care has ended.

NOVO COVID-19 women in labour and newborns, Aarhus University Hospital: DKK 1,950,000
The purpose of the project is to examine a population of pregnant women and newborns while the COVID-19 epidemic is at its peak. During the current international health crisis, there is a great need to know more about COVID-19 (the disease) and SARS-CoV-2 (the virus causing the disease) among women who are pregnant and in labour as well as newborns. Even though pregnant women are not necessarily more susceptible to viral infections, it is well-known that the changes to their immune system and physical condition may be linked to a more severe course of illness than in non-pregnant women. The project is a follow-up study, where all pregnant women giving birth at Aarhus University Hospital and Kolding Hospital (Lillebælt Hospital) over a period of a couple of months will be included.

Fast-track implementation of an advanced web-based self-triage and assessment chatbot for COVID-19, Capital Region of Denmark’s Emergency Medical Services: DKK 1,531,827
The purpose is to develop, test and fast-track a national implementation of a chatbot for COVID-19 related questions. The primary purpose is to provide updated evidence-based online information for the citizens on how to handle COVID-19 suspect symptoms and provide relevant information on when and where to call for further medical advice or assistance. The secondary purpose is to reduce the call volume and workload on medical helplines like 1-1-2, the medical helpline 1813, out-of-hours services and the general practitioners. Finally, the chatbot will be able to deliver scientific data identifying the dissemination of COVID-19 in the general population.

Biomarkers for risk assessment of patients with COVID-19 – Interregional Biobank project, Herlev & Gentofte Hospital: DKK 1,372,200
The purpose of the project is to create a large, unselected biobank for patients who have been hospitalized with COVID-19. The biobank will be used for 1) identifying and comparing established as well as experimental biomarkers for serious illness and death; and 2) building a risk model that includes one or more markers as well as clinical data. The risk model can be used to assess which patients are at risk of serious illness and which patients will require less intensive monitoring, possibly from their homes. The project is a prospective cohort study.

Remote glucose monitoring of patients isolated during the Covid-19 pandemic, Department of Endocrinology & Nephrology, Nordsjællands Hospital:  DKK 1,105,755
The purpose of the project is to provide hospital staff with real-time insights into the development of blood glucose levels in COVID-19 patients and isolated diabetes patients through wireless glucose meters transmitting continual readings. Normally, hospitalized patients have their glucose level measured five times a day using traditional point-of-care equipment. Remote glucose monitoring of patients will reduce the need for protective equipment and save staff resources, and it enables fast intervention if the glucose level is either too high or too low.

Mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, Aarhus University Psychiatric Hospital: DKK 1,050,000
The project will map the extent of mental illness related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that the pandemic will have a negative effect on persons who live with or are at risk of developing mental illness. The first results will be available after approximately two weeks, and the project will therefore provide valuable information that can be used to alleviate the effects of the pandemic.

Establishment of temporary emergency shelter and soup kitchen for socially marginalized citizens in the city of Aarhus, the Danish Red Cross: DKK 730,000
The purpose of the project is to provide emergency accommodation and meals for the most vulnerable citizens in Aarhus. The COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions on social gatherings have had a dramatic effect on the living conditions for Aarhus’ socially marginalized citizens. Existing shelters have had to reduce their capacity, while some drop-in centres have closed altogether. Due to the risk of infection and the implemented restrictions on social gatherings, there is shortage of emergency accommodation and provision of meals under the current circumstances. To address this situation, the project will establish a temporary emergency shelter and a soup kitchen in Aarhus. The project is run by a consortium consisting of Danish Red Cross, DanChurchSocial, Blue Cross Denmark and The Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark (Folkekirken).

Psychological consequences of COVID-19 among patients and their next of kin in Denmark, Rigshospitalet and the University of Copenhagen: DKK 378,000
The purpose of the project is to uncover the psychological consequences of COVID-19. It is commonly known that during epidemics, there may be a rise in the occurrence of negative psychological reactions, observable among half of the exposed population. Through an interview survey, the project will examine people’s experience of being at risk of COVID-19, of being infected with the disease, as well as how it feels to have a next of kin who is seriously ill or who dies as a result of COVID-19. The project will describe the psychological reactions among patients and their next of kin and propose measures for mitigating the psychological consequences.

COVID-19 WARD, Rigshospitalet, Bispebjerg Hospital and Department of Health Technology, Technical University of Denmark: DKK 3,909,009
The project will develop intelligent wireless 24/7 monitoring of high-risk patients with COVID-19. The system is intended to ensure early identification of deterioration and a significant reduction in patient contact, infection, the use of personal protective equipment and the need for human resources. The monitoring will start in the next 2 weeks.

Proactive protection of inpatients with COVID-19 lung disease – Pro-Lung-COVID trial, University of Copenhagen and Capital Region of Denmark: DKK 2,162,646
The project will examine whether internal medicine patients hospitalized acutely who have tested positive for 2019-nCoV can benefit from treatment with the drug hydroxychloroquine, which is used to combat viral infection, and the antiviral, immunomodulatory and antibacterial drug azithromycin. The aim is to find a treatment that can reduce hospitalization time, the number of admissions to intensive care units and mortality.

ECHOVID-19, University of Copenhagen, Herlev & Gentofte Hospital and Bispebjerg & Frederiksberg Hospital: DKK 1,780,000
The project is a prospective clinical study to investigate, among other things, whether cardiac ultrasound scanning and lung ultrasound examination can predict which patients are at high risk of: developing acute pulmonary failure; being admitted to an intensive care unit; or other acute deterioration when hospitalized for COVID-19. The study will also provide unique insight into how COVID-19 infection affects the heart, since all patients will also have a thorough heart examination when the infection is over. The study includes patients admitted to most of the Capital Region’s hospitals with a laboratory-confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

COVID-19 information initiative, Mino Denmark: DKK 933,104
The project will develop a digital platform that will enable information from Denmark’s public authorities on the ongoing coronavirus epidemic to be rapidly translated for minority language groups in Denmark. The goal is to translate the government’s most important public announcements in up to 30 languages within 12 hours.

DaneAge Association hotline for older people: DKK 495,000
The project will set up a telephone hotline for older people, where volunteer phone buddies ring those who want to talk. The aim is to help reduce loneliness and the feeling of isolation at a time when we cannot get in touch by other means.

The joint corona hotline for Danish public authorities, Danish Red Cross: DKK 500,000

The grant supports the work of the Red Cross in supporting the joint national corona hotline for Danish public authorities. The purpose of the hotline is to answer questions from people across the country who are experiencing insecurity or seeking answers to specific questions. The Red Cross provided staffing, while the hotline had many calls round the clock in three-team shifts. In addition, the Red Cross provides staffing of 8-10 samaritans on a 24-hour basis, who provide healthcare consultancy and act as supervisors for the employees at the authorities’ call center in Jonstrup, Zealand.

Grant awarded under the Societal Responses to and Preparedness for Emerging Viral Infections – 2020 research programme

Monitoring of infections and infectious diseases, Statens Serum Institut: DKK 10,000,000
The project will develop a digital solution that will be able to detect and respond to new infectious disease threats more rapidly. An improved digital solution is essential to give both individual doctors and Denmark’s emergency preparedness and response authorities easy access to relevant electronic data, thereby enabling them to rapidly assess how to respond to outbreaks of diseases and infections and prevent the transmission of infection.