Norway drops plans to test 300,000 a week for coronavirus

Norway has quietly dropped a plan to massively ramp up coronavirus testing so that close to 300,000 people can be tested every week.
The goal, announced on April 24 in an order given by Bjørn Guldvog, Director of the Norwegian Directorate of Health, was that 5 percent of the country's population could be tested — or about 270,000 people every week. 
 
Two weeks later, on May 7, the Directorate sent a letter out to municipalities asking them to aim to test just 1.5 percent of the population, or 800,000 people, according to a report int he Aftenposten newspaper. 
 
In reality, the level of testing is much lower, with fewer than 20,000 people currently being tested each week, or about 0.35 percent of the population. 
 
 
Norway's health minister Bent Høie said that the change in the goal reflected a shift in government priorities. 
 
 “It is sufficient now that we have control and there is little contagion in society,” he said at the government's press conference on Monday. 
 
He said the number of tests would now instead be ramped up in the autumn. 
 
Afterposten's report came on the day that neighbouring Denmark launched a national website where everyone who wants a test can apply for one, with an online booking system for places at one of the white tents set up in major cities by Testcenter Danmark, a new national organisation. 
 
 
 

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