Norway’s coronavirus situation described as ‘fragile’ but data suggests restrictions working

Norway’s coronavirus situation described as 'fragile' but data suggests restrictions working
File photo: AFP
There are signs that national and local measures aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus in Norway are having an effect, a senior health official has said.

Norway’s overall level of new coronavirus infections is currently trending downwards, according to calculations made by newspaper VG, which draws official data from Norway’s MSIS system to show local and national trends in infections.

The last day saw 538 new cases of coronavirus registered in Norway, according to official data.

The average number of daily cases over the last week stands at around 500, VG reports. The newspaper’s calculations now show a declining national trend in new cases for the first time since August, according to the report.

“This is good news for all of us in a time when we are fed up with the pandemic and the restrictions we are living with every day. I hope it gives us motivation to continue so that we can get infections down before we head into Christmas and winter,” Espen Nakstad, assistant director of the Norwegian Health Directorate, told the newspaper.

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In addition to encouraging national infection numbers, capital Oslo, which has seen the country’s toughest restrictions, also appears to currently have a flat curve currently. 155 new cases were registered in the city in the last day, 18 fewer than the daily average for the last 14 days.

The trends mean that restrictions and guidelines limiting social contact are showing an effect, Nakstad told VG.

“A series of infection-limiting measures were initiated in recent weeks, both nationally and in the largest cities. This appears to have had an effect,” he said.

Although those trends have a good chance of continuing should the public continue to follow guidelines, caution remains key, according to the health official.

“The situation is still very fragile. It won’t take much for the arrows to start pointing upwards again,” he said.

“Additionally, we must continue to do what is most important – meaning staying home when we are sick and getting a test if we have new symptoms. If we do, we can take many steps in the right direction,” he said.

25 of Norway’s 356 municipalities still have increasing rates of infection at the current time, according to VG’s analysis.


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