Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Thursday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.
Government press conference on rising Covid infections
Prime Minister Erna Solberg will lead a government press conference addressing increasing Covid numbers in schools at midday.
Coronavirus cases have been rising, and several new infection records have been set in recent weeks. Big news is expected due to the PM coming off the election trail to hold the conference.
Health Minister Bent Høie has said that there will be an update on whether the government will offer vaccines to children between 12-15.
Schools could also be raised to yellow level, which would mean more Covid measures in schools.
We will have all the details covered for you in an article later today.
Increase in Covid cases is ‘challenging’
A sharp increase in Covid-19 infections and a potential rise in hospitalisations has been described as a “challenging situation” by Espen Nakstad, assistant director of health at the Norwegian Directorate of Health.
“This is a challenging situation for two reasons; one is the consideration for everybody who is unvaccinated and at risk of becoming ill, especially in older age groups. The second is the chaos in the schools, with lots of absenteeism due to illness and a difficult to manage infection situation,” Nakstad told newspaper VG.
The assistant director of health also explained that the knock-on effect of infection spreading amongst young people is that once the virus spreads to older age groups, it could lead to a surge in hospital admissions.
“We are concerned that many unvaccinated people also in older age groups will be infected at the same time if we get a large wave of infection. Then we can get a wave of hospitalisations in a relatively short time that can be challenging at some hospitals,” Nakstad explained to the paper’s website.
National heritage board wants a plan to protect monuments against climate change
The Directorate of Cultural Heritage has said a plan needs to be put in place to protect cultural monuments against the effects of global warming.
“We have a building heritage that is completely unique, with medieval buildings from the 12th century which we are obliged to take care of for future generations,” Hanna Geiran, director-general of the heritage board, told trade union paper Klassekampen.
She added that a warmer climate, for example, would lead to more fungus and rot that attack historical wooden buildings. In addition, an increased risk of flooding can lead to the loss of archaeological monuments.
Norwegian transport minister keen on night train to Copenhagen
Norway’s transport minister Knut Arild Hareide has asked the country’s railway authority Jernbanedirektoratet to investigate the options for opening a night rail connection between Oslo and Copenhagen.
An answer is expected by November 1st, after which the Norwegian government will decide whether to go forward with the proposal to directly link the two Nordic capitals by rail. “I hope we’ll secure a deal. Cross-border trains are exciting,” Hareide told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
1,640 new Covid infections in Norway
On Wednesday, 1,640 new cases of infection were registered in Norway. This is 304 more cases than the seven-day average and the second-highest number of infections recorded during the pandemic.
In Oslo, 548 new coronavirus cases were recorded on Wednesday. This is a rise of 154 on the seven-day average of 394.