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

Found out what’s going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Tuesday
Ålesund , Western Norway. Photo by Kristine Urke on Unsplash

Government to include mortgages and car loans on national debt register

Norway is planning to expand its debt register to include mortgages and loans taken out for cars.

The debt register, which was set up in 2019, currently only lists information on credit card debt and consumer loans, but the government is looking to expand what information is shown on the register.

“There are many indications that the debt information scheme has been a great success. We have seen a decline in the lending of unsecured loans for the first time in many years,” consumer affairs minister Kjell Ingolf Ropstad said.

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority is against the expansion of the register.

READ MORE: Goodbye tax amnesty? What Norway’s proposed changes mean for you

The banking sector in Norway has long advocated including more information in the register to get a better overview of people’s financial situation when applying for loans.

The proposal will be evaluated by government in the autumn. 

Police break up national day celebrations

Police in Oslo broke up a parade to mark Norway’s National Day after it appeared to exceed the city’s current restrictions on public gatherings.

Around 150 people gathered in central Oslo to take part in a parade, which was stopped as it headed towards the Royal Palace, newspaper VG reported.

READ ALSO: May 17th: A guide to how Norway normally celebrates it’s national day 

“They had a size of about 150 people, give or take. They were moving around the city centre and at one point crossed Karl Johan (street) and headed towards the palace,” senior police officer tor Gulbrandsen told the paper. 

Infection control measures may extend life expectancy 

Coronavirus restrictions may have an impact on extending life expectancy, Frode Forland, director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, has said.

According to Statistics Norway, there were 864 fewer deaths in the first quarter of this year compared to last year.

“It may be that some of these measures will improve the possibility of an extended life expectancy,” Forland told state broadcaster NRK’s evening news program Dagsrevyen on Monday evening.

Forland also said that when infections decrease, the number of deaths associated with other diseases also falls.

201 new Covid-19 cases recorded in Norway

On Monday, 201 new cases of coronavirus were recorded in Norway.

This is a decrease of 208 cases compared to the seven day average of 409.

In general, infection numbers are much lower on public holidays and weekends than during the week.

In Oslo, 32 new cases of infection were registered, 49 less than the seven day rolling 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 in Norway. 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. 

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