One-third of Norway's Covid cases linked to Delta variant
Just under a third of all coronavirus infections sequenced in Norway are the Delta variant, first identified in India, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said on Wednesday.
Last week 31 percent of all coronavirus samples processed were sequenced as the Delta variant, the NIPH outlined in its latest weekly report.
Just shy of 800 cases of the Delta variant have been detected so far in Norway since it was first discovered in the country in early May. The vast majority of those cases have been recorded in the past few weeks.
The prevalence of the Alpha variant, first detected in the UK, in Norway, is now falling. The variant previously accounted for over 90 percent of all cases in Norway, but over the past four weeks, it has only accounted for 68 percent of Covid infections.
So far, the Delta variant is only dominant in Viken county, but cases were on the rise in most of Norway’s other counties.
Minister of Health Bent Høie has previously said that he expected the Delta variant to become the dominant Covid variant in July.
“We do not have the opportunity to prevent that. It is a variant that is more contagious. It is the law of nature that it will now become dominant. Then the question is what effect it will have on society, there is not a lot we are certain about right now,” Høie told newspaper VG.
Health authorities had hoped that the Delta could be contained and prevented from becoming the dominant variant until more people were fully vaccinated.
Earlier this month, the governments plan to lift the remaining Covid-19 measures in Norway were scuppered and pushed back until the end of July or beginning of August “at the earliest” due to concerns over the spread of the Delta variant.