Norway past peak of fourth Covid-19 wave, say health chiefs

Norway past peak of fourth Covid-19 wave, say health chiefs
A lab worker preparing a Covid-19 test. Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash
Infection numbers during Norway’s fourth Covid wave have peaked and should be on their way back down, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said on Monday. 

Norway seems to be on its way out of its fourth wave of Covid-19 infections following a fall in coronavirus cases, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) have said. 

The peak of the fourth wave was September 6th, when a national record for daily infections was set, and 1,780 Covid-19 cases were registered, according to the NIPH. 

Since then, infections have slowly started to go down. The seven-day average for Covid-19 cases in Norway is 1,268 per day, and last week that figure was 1,460 per day. 

Preben Aavitsland, chief physician at the NIPH, said that he expects the decline in cases to continue. He also said that vaccination was one of the reasons for the drop-off in cases. 

“We will not write off vaccination as an explanation for much of the decline. In the last three weeks alone, we have administered over one million vaccine doses,” Aavitsland told public broadcaster NRK.  

He also said that the introduction of mass-testing was also a big factor in the fall in cases. Municipalities in Norway implemented the use of testing, particularly in schools, to ease the pressure on infection tracking services. 

Geir Bukholm, director of infection control at the NIPH, also said that he believed that a mix of testing, vaccinations and Covid measures had played a role in declining infection rates. 

“This is a trend we are seeing now, but it is important that we follow it further and see that it is a trend that continues,” Bukholm told NRK. 

“The main reason for the decline is vaccination, but testing and measure are also important,” he added. 

Bukholm also said that Norway’s high vaccine coverage was also making it harder for coronavirus to spread to unvaccinated people. 

“We are seeing hints of a decrease in infection among the unvaccinated, and it is an effect of the vaccines,” he explained. 

READ ALSO: Why health experts in Norway are more worried about flu than new Covid-19 variants

It’s not all good news as even though the number of Covid cases is falling, the number of people admitted to hospital with coronavirus is rising. 

Currently, 127 people have been admitted to Norwegian hospitals with Covid-19, the highest number since May. 

Number of Covid-19 hospital admissions in Norway. Source: NIPH

However, Espen Nakstad, assistant director of health at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, has said he expects hospitalisation numbers to level out over the next week. 

“The number of hospitalisations is still increasing, but will probably stabilise in a weeks time if infections continue to decline,” Nakstad told NRK. 

Aavitsland did urge caution, however, and said cases could rise in the winter and autumn but did stress that this was unlikely to threaten the capacity of health services. 

“We do not think we will get an increase in infection that will threaten the health service,” he said. 


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