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
Oslo Opera House. Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash

Norway expects 4.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses this summer 

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) has dismissed fears that the vaccination program will still be ongoing through the autumn and winter.

The NIPH believes it will receive more than enough doses from vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna to offer everyone over 18 a vaccine by the end of July.

“We plan to receive 4.5 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in June, July and August. By the end of May, we will be receiving around 340,000 doses a week,” chief doctor at the NIPH Preben Aavitsland told news agency NTB. 

Read More: Norway officially axes AstraZeneca vaccine and changes vaccine strategy 

More than 1.5 million people have been vaccinated in Norway so far. 

Older and younger people struggle to distinguish between news and advertisements 

According to a survey by the Norwegian Media Authority, the oldest and youngest people in Norway have a hard time telling the difference between news, advertising, and public information. 

The media watchdog has recommended clear labelling of different types of content.

“The results show that it’s hard to orientate oneself amidst the flood of digital information and that it’s important to label and identify the different types of media clearly, Mari Vesland, director of the Norwegian Media Authority, said. 

More than 2,000 people participated in the survey aged between 16 and 102. 

Only one in three people aged between 16-24 and 60-79 could identify a reliable source in six news articles correctly. Only 18 percent of those aged over 80 were able to identify all the sources. 

Increase in births in the first quarter 

During the first three months of the year, 13,960 children were born in Norway, nearly 700 more than the same period last year, new figures from Statistics Norway show. 

Typically during health crises and times of financial uncertainty, such as the current coronavirus pandemic, birth rates tend to fall. 

If this trend continues, then the fertility rate in Norway may rise. 

In addition to the increase in births, the figures indicated a sharp fall in deaths. Compared to the same period last year, around 740 fewer people died. In total, 10,096 people died during the first quarter in Norway. 

Immigration is also lower than average but higher than in 2020. This may be partly because of strict entry restrictions, limiting entry into Norway to a very small group outside of residents and Norwegian citizens that have been in place since January. 

READ MORE: Travel: Norway extends Covid entry restrictions 

The population in Norway is now estimated to be 5,398,804, an increase of 26,449 on the year before. 

314 new Covid cases in Norway 

On Tuesday, 314 new coronavirus cases were registered in Norway, a decrease of 41 on the seven-day average. 

Cases tend to be lower following public holidays when less testing takes place. 

In Oslo, 72 new infections have been registered, six more 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 cases in Norway
Total number of reported Coronavirus cases in Norway so far. 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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