Denmark on Friday defended its decision to kill up to 17 million minks to prevent human contagion with the mutated coronavirus even after the World Health Organization played down fears of the mutated variation, NBC News reported.
"We would rather go a step too far than take a step too little to combat Covid-19," Denmark's Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a press conference.
As of Thursday, 216 mink farms in the country were infected with coronavirus and all remaining minks would be culled in line with animal welfare guidelines in the coming weeks, Danish health officials said. Denmark has a total of around 300 mink farms, according to officials.
"This is a global pandemic and many millions of people have been infected, many millions of animals have been exposed," said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergencies Program. "Right now, the evidence that we have doesn't suggest that this variant is in any way different in the way it behaves ... it is still the same virus."
On Thursday, Denmark announced strict new lockdown measures in its northern counties, home to most mink farms, after authorities discovered the mutated strain in the region.
Read the full story on NBCNews.com.