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Nine charts and graphs that reveal the state of Norway's Covid-19 epidemic

Vilde Skorpen Wikan
Vilde Skorpen Wikan - [email protected] • 29 Jan, 2021 Updated Fri 29 Jan 2021 13:08 CEST
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The battle against Covid-19 is intensifying in Norway, where each day seems to be a new turning point. These charts and maps give an insight into the state of the epidemic in the country.


On Friday January 29th, Norway effectively closed its borders. 

Nearly all foreigners who do not permanently live in the country, including international students and workers, will now be denied entry.

READ MORE : What you need to know about Norway's new border restrictions

This is one of the measures the government hopes will prevent the spread of the more contagious variant of Covid-19, first discovered in the UK. After a cluster of cases of the variant was discovered in the southern municipality of Nordre Follo last week, tight measures have been implemented in 25 municipalities, including lockdown in the capital Oslo. 

“We have consistently tightened and loosened up restrictions in accordance with how the virus is spreading,” said Prime Minister Erna Solberg in a press release, “and with the more contagious variant of coronavirus now spreading, we find it necessary to impose the strictest entry rules since March last year.”


The government will assess whether or not the entry ban will be extended in two to three weeks.

But how and where is the virus spreading in Norway? 



Data from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) shows that as of January 28th 61,960 people in Norway have now been diagnosed with Covid-19, while the country has recorded 557 deaths. Nearly 3.4 million people have been tested, meaning that on average, 1.8 percent of tests have been positive.


As the below graph shows, the number of cases in Norway started steadily increasing throughout the autumn, reaching a high in January, when over 900 people were diagnosed with the virus in a single day.




The numbers seemed to confirm the government’s worst fears: that people spending time with friends and family over Christmas and New Year had lead to a spike in new cases. In order to curb the epidemic, stricter measures were introduced in the whole country during the first two weeks of the year.


Stable share of positive tests


The below graph, however, shows a clear reduction in the number of new cases so far in 2021, indicating that that the government’s efforts may have been successful. A recent NIPH report also concludes that “monitoring and models show a significant decrease in the rate of transmission for the last two weeks.”


The institute nevertheless warns that the reduction in the number of cases is partly caused in fewer people being tested. However, as the following graph shows, the share of people testing positive for Covid-19 during the first few weeks of the year, also fell slightly.




Oslo worst hit


Cases, however, are not equally distributed throughout the country. The following map of the number of cases by municipality shows that cases are concentrated in cities such as the capital Oslo to the east, Bergen to the west, and Trondheim to the centre.



While Trondheim has recorded approximately 2,000 cases and Bergen 4,000, however, almost 17,000 people have been diagnosed with Covid-19 in Oslo. This means that the capital accounts for around a quarter of Norway’s coronavirus cases overall.


Densely populated areas, particularly in the east of the country, have also recorded a higher number of cases. The map nevertheless shows that most of Norway’s municipalities have fewer than 100 cases, with a large number having recorded less than ten cases throughout the epidemic.




More infections among younger people  


The virus is also not equally distributed between age groups. Over 6,300 people between the ages of 20-29 have tested positive for the virus, followed by over 4,700 people between 30-39 and 4,500 people between 40-49. Together, people between these ages make up a quarter of the total number of cases.




The likelihood of contracting the virus is far lower for people over 70. But while people in these age groups only make up a small share of the total number of cases, they account for approximately eight out of every ten deaths.



Little to do with gender


Whether you are a man or a woman has less of an influence on your likelihood of catching the virus. But while the virus is more equally distributed between the sexes, the data shows that more men than women have been diagnosed and died with the virus in Norway.




Mutated variation


Yet the mutated UK-variant continues to cause concern. And while less than 150 cases have been discovered, the below graph shows a significant jump in the first week of 2021.


(Week 53 is from December 28th, 2020 to January 3rd 2021, Week 1 started on January 4th)




The below map also shows that so far, the number of cases is heavily concentrated in Viken country, which surrounds the capital Oslo. This is also the region where the strictest measures to combat the spread of the virus has been implemented.




Steady pace of vaccinations


But restrictions and lockdowns are not the only weapon against Covid-19 and its mutations. While the government is trying to prevent the virus from spreading, more and more people are getting their first dose of the vaccine, as the below graph shows.



Norway started vaccinating its population on December 27th, on the same day as EU-countries. And in one month more than 80,000 people have received the first jab of the vaccine.


In order for the vaccine to protect against Covid-19, each person must also get a second dose, approximately three weeks after receiving the first. The graph shows that less than 4,000 people in Norway are immune.


But rates will likely start increasing in the next week weeks, with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health Friday announcing that Norway’s municipalities will receive significantly bigger vaccine deliveries as of next week.


“That we can increase the pace of vaccinations means that we may faster protect the people who need it the most against illness and death,” said head of transmission reduction Geir Bukholm at NIPH in a press release.



Vilde Skorpen Wikan 2021/01/29 13:08

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