Of the current patients, five are connected to the eye clinic, where a health worker infected with the virus worked throughout last week after getting infected in northern Italy, putting patients and staff at risk, Norwegian state broadcaster NRK has reported.
“Late yesterday evening, two new positive Covid-19 cases were confirmed associated with the same environment around the eye clinic unit,” the hospital wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning.
Oppdatering Covid-19 kl. 10:00 (del 1/2):
Sent i går kveld påvist to nye Covid-19 positive ansatte med tilknytning til det samme miljøet rundt enheten ved vår øyeavdeling som tidligere er kjent.
— Oslounivsykehus (@Oslounivsykehus) March 1, 2020
On Saturday, the hospital confirmed that 28 staff with symptoms were being tested for the virus. The cases at the hospital are the first to have been infected on Norwegian soil.
The doctor who brought the infection back from northern Italy complained in an interview with the Aftenposten newspaper that he had repeatedly asked to be tested after experiencing flu-like symptoms but was refused, only managing to get tested after two days.
The Director of Medicine and Health Sciences at Oslo University Hospital, Hilde Myhren, on Saturday apologised at a press conference for the hospital's delay.
“In hindsight it is easy to see that it was a very unfortunate decision,” she told Aftenposten. “Of course we wish we had tested the person, knowing what we know today, but we cannot do anything about it now.”
“We considered that the symptoms were not of such a nature that testing was needed,” she added. “The criteria for testing have in the past have been quite stringent: fever, cough or wheezing. In recent days, it has also been said that respiratory symptoms might be sufficient to suspect an infection.”
All patients who visited the clinic between February 24 and February 28 have been advised to stay home and limit contact with others.