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

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

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Monday
Oslo Operahus .Photo by Arvid Malde on Unsplash

Third Covid-19 vaccine probably not required 

It is unlikely that Norway will offer the population a third coronavirus jab, according to one of the country’s top doctors. 

Preben Avitsland, chief physician at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH), said there is currently no evidence indicating that a third vaccine dose would be required, despite the spread of the B.1.617 variant of Covid-19, which originated in India. 

“For the record: There is no data on the Indian (B.1.617) variant that indicates the population needs a third dose of the vaccine,” he said in a tweet.

In a recent risk assessment of B.1.617, the NIPH said that vaccines offer similar, albeit slightly less, protection against mild and severe disease when infected with the B.1.617 variant. 

So far, 40 cases of the variant have been detected in Norway. 

Significant rise in the use of diabetes drugs 

The use of blood-sugar-lowering drugs in Norway, most commonly used to treat diabetes, rose by a quarter between 2019 and 2020, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. 

This is potentially linked to an increase of diabetes in the Nordic country. 

“It is difficult to point to a clear reason for this increase. This may be due to a rise in the number of new cases of diabetes. But it could also be due to a change in the proportion of people with diabetes who are treated with blood-sugar-lowering drugs, Lars Christian Mørch Stene, diabetes researcher at the NIPH, said. 

Fewer believe the pandemic will have impact on climate change 

Just under half of people in Norway think that the coronavirus pandemic will have a positive effect on climate change in the short term, according to the Norwegian Corona Monitor from Opinion.

This is a drop of 15 percent compared to the same time last year. 

“The pandemic has demonstrated that the whole world can be quickly restructured if we have to. Nevertheless, fewer and fewer believe the pandemic will provide a crossroads for dealing with climate challenges,” Nora Clausen, senior advisor at opinion, said. 

Only 14 percent of those surveyed said that they believed that the pandemic would impact climate change in the long term. 

169 new Coronavirus infection in Norway

On Sunday, 169 new Covid-19 cases were recorded in Norway. This is a sharp decrease of 216 compared to the seven-day average of 385.

Cases tend to be lower on weekends. 

In Oslo, 24 new cases were registered. This is the lowest number of cases recorded in the capital for a single day since February. 

The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 1.0. This means that infections are at a steady level in Norway as for every ten people that are infected, they will, on average, only infect another ten people.

Total number of Covid-19 cases recorded. Source: NIPH

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

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

Pictured is Holmenkollen in Oslo.
Read about the interval between doses two and three being shortened and the death of Kåre Willoch in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is Holmenkollen in Oslo. Photo by Michael Ankes on Unsplash

Tributes paid to Kåre Willoch 

The former prime minister and Conservative Party leader Kåre Willoch passed away yesterday aged 93. King Harold, prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre and former PM Erna Solberg were among those to pay tribute to Willoch. 

“He was a very gracious and nice person who was concerned with people and political issues,” Solberg said. 

The former PM pointed to Willoch’s modernisation reform in Norway as his most significant political legacy. 

“The most important thing he did was the modernisation of Norway,” she said. 

Health minister to decide on new Covid-19 measures

New coronavirus measures are on their way in Norway, with the health minister, Ingvild Kjerkol, set to decide on new restrictions following a rise in infections, outbreaks of the Omicron variant and parts of the health service nearing capacity. 

“There will be measures we will notice in our everyday lives,” Kjerkol said to public broadcaster NRK

“The situation is demanding, and that is the reason why we are now looking at new measures. We have a health service that is in full swing, and our goal is to have control of the pandemic, in the form that the municipalities and hospitals are able to provide proper health care,” Kjerkol explained.

READ ALSO: How could Norway’s Covid-19 restrictions be tightened this week?

The minister didn’t reveal any details on what could be announced but said that decisions would be made on Tuesday. 

Coronavirus booster vaccine interval shortened 

The interval between vaccine doses two and three for those aged between 64 and 45 will be shortened by a month, Norway’s health ministry has announced

The interval will now be five months when it was previously six. All adults with serious underlying conditions and those working in the health and care sectors will also have the interval cut. 

One in three think Covid-19 measures are too relaxed

A third of Norwegians feel that the current Covid measures in place in Norway are insufficient and need tightening, according to a survey conducted by Norstat for public broadcaster NRK.

Ten percent said the measures were too comprehensive, and just under 50 percent said that the current level of action was appropriate. 

4,117 new Covid-19 cases in Norway

On Monday, 4,117 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Norway. That is 1,240 more cases than the same day last week. 

As of yesterday, 295 people were hospitalised with Covid-19. 

A graph showing the number of weekly cases in Norway.
The total number of weekly cases in Norway throughout the pandemic. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health.