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

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday 
Sandvika in Autumn. Photo by Baard Hansen on Unsplash
Find out what's going on in Norway on Thursday with The Local's short roundup of important news 

Leaders go head-to-head in the penultimate election debate 

Last night, the leaders of Norway’s nine main political clashed in the penultimate debate ahead of next Monday’s election. Abortion, schools and government cooperation were on last night’s agenda. 

However, it was abortion policy and schools that really dominated proceedings. The leaders debated whether the current abortion rules, where a woman can freely terminate a pregnancy at 12 weeks, 18 weeks on application and 21 weeks in special circumstances. 

The Socialist Left Party argued that women should have the right to choose until 22 weeks, Labour said 18 weeks and the other party’s either thought that the rules should remain the same or were unclear in their views. 

On schools, PM Erna Solberg was under intense scrutiny for not moving teachers further forward in the vaccine queue but overall weathered the storm well. 

You can stay up to date with the 2021 Norwegian Election with The Local, click here to catch up on our coverage so far. 

Health authorities in Covid-19 communication mishap 

Norway’s two biggest health authorities were caught up in a case of miscommunication on Wednesday. 

The Norwegian Directorate of Health suggested that around 50 percent of all children in Norway would catch Covid-19 this autumn. At the same time, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said that this wasn’t an accurate estimation. 

On Wednesday health director of the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Bjørn Guldvog, clarified the prediction, saying it was an overestimation. The suggestion that 50 percent of Norwegian children could catch Covid-19 was based on a similar estimation made in neighbouring Denmark. 

The mix-up was clarified at a government press conference. 

Norwegian Institute of Public Health more concerned about Flu than Covid-19 this winter

Health authorities are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact Flu will have on Norway this winter, rather than Covid-19, according to Karoline Bragstad, a virologist with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH).

“We are probably more worried about the possible return of the flu than about any new coronavirus variants now through autumn and winter. The vaccines against covid-19 seem to protect very broadly against the variants we know today,” Bragstad told public broadcaster NRK

Last year, as few as 11 cases were registered in Norway, which is the cause of concern for health authorities as so few infections mean lower immunity in the population. A normal flu season sees around 900 people die and 5,000 people hospitalized.

1,546 new Covid-19 infections registered in Norway 

On Wednesday, 1,546 new Covid-19 infections were registered in Norway. This is an increase of 118 compared to the seven-day average of 1,428. 

Total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

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