Hospitals in Norway report signs that coronavirus lockdown is working

Hospitals in Norway report signs that coronavirus lockdown is working
Haukeland University Hospital has seen the number of new cases tapering off. Photo: Aqwis/Wikimedia Commons
Hospitals in Norway were on Monday tentatively reporting that the surge in coronavirus patients was starting to taper off, indicating that the tough measures the government brought in more than a fortnight ago are starting to work.
“The initiatives appear to have worked and have been of great importance,” Eivind Hansen, the director of Haukeland University Hospital in Bergen, said at a press conference on Monday, according to Norwegian state broadcaster NRK
 
“The fact that we have managed to isolate the infected and at the same time cure many who have come to intensive care ahas been very important, Hansen said.
 
He said the hospital had now discharged 34 patients who had been treated for coronavirus, eight of whom had had such a severe infection that they had to be treated in an intensive care unit. 
 
Stig Gjerde, head of the hospital's intensive care unit, told NRK that the the health services in western Norway could have had as many as 500 patients in intensive care by this point, rather than 48, had the government not taken tough measures to slow the virus' spread. 
 
At Stavanger University Hospital, the hospital's infectious diseases chief Jon Sundal said that the hospital currently had 12 coronavirus patients, of whom six were on respirators. 
 
“This is a positive development, and we are beginning to see indications that the measures initiated by the health authorities are working,” he said, according to a report on the NTB newswire
 
Espen Nakstad, the acting Deputy Director General at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, told the NTB newswire that the absence of a significant rise in hospital admissions gave “grounds for moderate optimism”, but he said it was important that Norwegians continued to respect the lockdown. 
 
“We probably still have a large number of hidden infections, and it is important that the  measures that we now follow in Norway are maintained until April 13.” 

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