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Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

Find out what's going on in Norway on Wednesday with The Local's short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Trondheim harbour. Photo by Carlo Alberto Burato on Unsplash

Norway passes 2 million vaccines administered
Norway has now administered more than 2 million vaccines in total, health authorities have announced.

According to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the Nordic country passed the landmark on Tuesday evening.

Since the first vaccine dose was given on December 27th, 2020, Norway has administered 2,019,546 doses of a coronavirus vaccine.

READ MORE: Norway to offer everyone second Covid-19 vaccine by end of August

So far, 1,503,794 people have received their first dose, and 515,752 people have received their second dose.

“I want to say a big thank you to all those who are out in the municipalities and who ensure such good progress is being made. I am delighted that the vaccination program in Norway continues at a good pace,” Health Minister, Bent Høie, told news agency NTB.

Number of gambling addicts seeking help during the pandemic rises sharply
The number of people who contacted Gambling Addiction Norway for the first time rose sharply in 2020.

792 people contacted Gambling Addiction Norway compared to 436 the year before, an increase of 82 percent.

Furthermore, the organisation says that numbers this year compare similarly with last year.

“We have never such high numbers before,” Lill-Tove Bergmo, leader of the organisation.

Current Coronavirus restrictions in Oslo extended until end of May
Oslo’s local Covid-19 restrictions will not be relaxed until May 27th t at the earliest.

Next week, the city council will decide whether the city will have more measures lifted at the end of May.

The city has adopted a phased approach to the second step of its five-step plan to reopen.

READ MORE: Oslo relaxes Covid restrictions with shops and malls to reopen 

The next set of measures that will be lifted will see bar’s and restaurants reopen and serve alcohol, along with gyms reopening.

“I understand that the hospitality industry and owners and users of gyms are getting impatient. The first part of step two of the reopening plan seems to have gone well, but we must still be careful. If infections stay low, then it should be possible to open restaurants, gyms, museums and more before may is over,” the city’s mayor, Raymond Johansen, said.

Decline in Norwegian economy in the first quarter
GDP for mainland Norway fell by one percent in the first quarter, according to seasonally adjusted figures.

There was an economic decline in each of the first three months of the year due to increased coronavirus infections and stricter infection control measures that sure retail and hospitality close in parts of the country.

READ MORE: Explained: What Norway’s revised budget means for you 

Total GDP, which accounts for offshore oil and gas extraction, and foreign shipping, fell by 0.6 percent.

Mainland Norway’s GDP was two percent lower in March 2021 compared to when the pandemic began.

473 new Covid-19 infections recorded
On Tuesday, 473 coronavirus infections were registered, a decrease of 36 on the seven-day average.

In Oslo, 86 cases were recorded on Tuesday, 23 less than the seven-day average.

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 0.7. This means that the pandemic is receding in Norway as for every ten people that are infected, they will, on average, only infect another seven people.

Total number of Covid-19 cases. Source: NIPH

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Have Oslo’s new electric scooter rules reduced accidents?

New rules were brought in to combat the sharp rise in accidents and injuries involving electric scooters in Oslo. But, one month later, have the new regulations done the job?  

Have new rules had an impact on the number of accidents involving scooters in Oslo. Pictured it two e-scooters parked outside a

New rules brought in to cut down on the number of e-scooter accidents in Norway’s capital appear to have had the desired effect as incidents were more halved in September, when the rules were introduced, compared to the month before. 

This is according to figures from Oslo University Hospital’s (OUS) emergency department that have been obtained by newspaper Aftenposten

The Emergency Medical Service in Oslo registered 143 injuries in connection with electric scooters in September. In August, the month before measures were brought in, there were 301 injuries.’

Compared to the peak of accidents in June, where 436 injuries were recorded, incidents are down by almost two-thirds. 

“We are very happy. This is what we hoped for,” Henrik Siverts, chief physician at OUS’s emergency department, told the newspaper Aftenposten

‘We feared it would happen’: Oslo sees first death of electric scooter rider

Among the new stricter rules introduced for rental scooters, which included significantly cutting the number of devices in the city, was a curfew that prevented people from using them between 11pm and 5am. 

Siverts said that the curfew had a dramatic effect in reducing accidents at night. 

“Unsurprisingly, accidents have gone down at night time. What injuries we do get at night are probably people who privately own their scooters. But accidents have also gone down during the day, too,” he explained.  

Just eight injuries were recorded in September at night, compared to just under 100 in August. 

Over the summer, a surge in accidents meant accident and emergency departments in Oslo were forced to have more staff on during weekends. Still, as a result of the reduction in scooter accidents, staffing has now returned to normal. 

Have your say

Have the new e-scooter rules in Oslo been effective? Let us know in the poll below. 

 

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