Norway records highest number of Covid-19 infections in single week

Norway records highest number of Covid-19 infections in single week
Photo by Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP
Norway recorded a total of 6,328 Covid-19 cases between the 15th and 21st of March, the highest weekly number since the pandemic began, according to a report from health authorities.

The weekly report from the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) which tracks Coronavirus statistics also found that 43 people were admitted to intensive care with Covid-19 – another record.

In total 202 people were admitted to hospital with coronavirus including 18 people aged between 20 and 29, the highest weekly figure for that age group during the pandemic.

Deaths were also up compared to the previous week, with nine deaths were recorded compared to five during the previous seven days. This reverses a trend of deaths falling for the past four weeks.

Some 79 percent of infections in Norway are now the B117 variant, which originated in the United Kingdom. A report from the NIPH on Monday found that people who contracted the B117 variant were 2.6 times more likely to need hospital treatment.

READ MORE: ‘A good sign’ Norway’s health chief says reason to be positive despite surge in infections

“It is serious that this new more, contagious variant, also seems to give a higher risk of hospitalisations. We are concerned about the spread of infection with this new variant,” Line Vold department director at the NIPH told broadcaster NRK.

The R Number is currently 1.3 nationally with much greater variation at local level. Overall, the number of people tested last week was down two percent with a higher proportion of those tested returning positive results.

Immigrant communities continue to be hard hit with 57 percent of all those admitted to hospital not being born in Norway. Additionally, more than one third of reported cases in Norway last week were foreign-born.

On Tuesday Norway announced tighter measures that will be in place for the Easter holidays as a result of rising coronavirus infection numbers. Despite the record numbers the infection curve isn’t as steep as it has been during previous weeks.

“It seems that the increase has become less steep, and that is hopefully a sign that there will now be a flattening (of the curve) if we continue to have such strict measures. I think that’s a good sign,” NIPH director Camilla Stoltenberg told NRK radio.

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