Norwegian health authority reduces Covid-19 alert level from ‘high’ to ‘moderate’

Norwegian health authority reduces  Covid-19 alert level from 'high' to 'moderate'
Bergen, Christmas 2014. Photo: Justin/Flickr
The Norwegian health authority, NIPH, has reduced its assessment of the risk of widespread increased infections from ‘high’ to ‘moderate’, but warned of a potential new increase during the Christmas period.

NIPH’s most recent assessment of the situation with the virus in Norway states that 2,574 new cases of the virus were registered in the week leading up to Sunday.

That compares with 3,649 new cases in the previous week and 4,080 the week prior to that, Aftenposten reports.

Hospitalisations are also falling in Norway, with 74 admitted to hospitals with coronavirus last week compared to 107 and 101 in the two preceding weeks.

Delays in data registration mean that the final figure for last week’s new cases could be higher, but not enough to change the overall picture of a declining trend in virus spread in the country currently.

But the risk of the pandemic again flaring up is unlikely to change for several months, according to the agency’s last risk assessment. That is in spite of reports suggesting Norway is close to being able to begin vaccinations against Covid-19.

READ ALSO: Norway’s health authority 'ready' for arrival of Covid-19 vaccine

The Christmas period could have the effect of sparking new infections, according to NIPH.

“We assess that there is little likelihood of a national wave of accelerated (virus) spread),” the authority concludes in its report.

In a November 5th risk assessment, NIPH said that the risk of widespread increased infections nationally was “high”.

That risk level has now been reduced to “moderate”.

“The strong increase in the number of registered cases and hospital admissions appears to be decreasing,” the assessment states.

But the situation remains unstable, with the risk of new outbreaks locally and nationally still present.

“There is a need for an ongoing strong effort to reduce infections in the Oslo area, and municipalities elsewhere in the country must detect and gain quick control of their outbreaks,” NIPH writes.

Risk factors stated by the agency include fatigue amongst the population, causing people to take guidelines or the threat of the virus less seriously; cold weather moving more activity indoors; and Christmas events including family gatherings, church services and social events.


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