There have now been over 350 new cases of the Delta variant since it was first sequenced in Norway in March. It is only a matter of time before it replaces the Alpha variant, which was first identified in the UK, as the dominant virus mutation in Norway, according to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).
Almost 250 of the 353 confirmed cases of the Delta variant had been recorded in the last four weeks. However, Line Vold, a director at the NIPH, told newspaper VG that it has not yet become the dominant variant in Norway despite the sharp rise in Delta cases.
“We cannot say that (it has become the dominant strain) at the moment. Outbreaks of the Delta variant characterise the current infection situation, and therefore a large proportion of the tests we sequence are the Delta variant. We assume that the variant will become dominant in a few weeks,” she said.
The vast majority of Delta variant cases have been registered in Vestfold and Telemark in South Norway. However, the virus has also been detected in Viken, Oslo, Fæeder, Trondheim and Bergen.
“We are following developments closely and have categorised it as a variant of concern. We will see an increasing prevalence of this variant over the summer. But we want the spread to be slow so that as many people as possible are vaccinated before Delta becomes widespread,” Vold told the newspaper.
She also added that she still expects the epidemic in Norway to be kept under control even once Delta emerges as the dominant strain in Norway.
Vold also added that more and more people are becoming vaccinated and because infection control measures that have helped contain the spread of coronavirus so far are also good at managing the spread of the Delta variant.