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

Find out what's going on in Norway today with The Local's short roundup of important news. 

Norwegian gymnast Josephine Juul Møller competing at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Japan on Wednesday.
Norwegian gymnast Josephine Juul Møller competing at the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Japan on Wednesday. Photo: Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP

Norwegian oil company reports strong result 

State-owned oil company Equinor netted a pre-tax operating result of 9.77 billion dollars for the third quarter of 2021, broadcaster NRK reports. The company has profited from high international fuel prices, NRK writes.

“We have delivered strong results in the (third) quarter as a consequence of high raw material prices and solid operations,” Equinor’s CEO Anders Opedal said in a statement to the stock exchange.

READ ALSO: Five things that are becoming more expensive in Norway (and why)

Talks over potential breakup of county

Since a major rejig of Norwegian administrative areas two years ago, the three former counties of Akershus, Buskerud and Østfold have existed under the auspices of the new, larger county administration of Viken. The merger was met with considerable opposition.

After the new government said it would consider dissolving Viken and returning to the former structure, the county government has asked its 51 municipalities to state their views on the possibility, newspaper VG writes.

The county government must decide by February 16th-17th whether to apply to the government for Viken county to be split. A hearing period runs from December 17th until February 1st.

“These are tight deadlines and we want to give early information on the process for the county government’s processing of the matter,” county government leader Siv Henriette Jacobsen said via the administration’s website.

160 children hospitalised in Norway with Covid-19 since start of pandemic

A total of 160 children aged 18 and under have been in hospital with Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic in March last year, according to figures released by the health authority NIPH on Tuesday evening.

The figure of 160 represents around 3 percent of the total number of hospitalisations. Around 5,200 adults have spent time in hospital with the coronavirus.

“The population under 18 has had the lowest risk of hospital admission throughout the pandemic,” NIPH researcher and paediatric doctor Ketil Størdal said in a statement.

Covid-19 infections over 1,000 in a day for first time in a month

The number of daily infections with Covid-19 is now displaying an upward trend.

Over 1,000 infections were registered – 1,144 to be exact – this morning, the first time the daily total has hit four figures since September 14th. 218 of the infections were registered in Oslo.

The seven-day average is currently 721 infections, according to Norwegian Directorate of Health figures.

Today sees a drop in the number of hospitalised patients with Covid-19 in Norway, with 106 currently in hospital. That is 19 fewer than yesterday.

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For members


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

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local’s short roundup of important news. 

Pictured is Holmenkollen in Oslo.
Read about the interval between doses two and three being shortened and the death of Kåre Willoch in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is Holmenkollen in Oslo. Photo by Michael Ankes on Unsplash

Tributes paid to Kåre Willoch 

The former prime minister and Conservative Party leader Kåre Willoch passed away yesterday aged 93. King Harold, prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre and former PM Erna Solberg were among those to pay tribute to Willoch. 

“He was a very gracious and nice person who was concerned with people and political issues,” Solberg said. 

The former PM pointed to Willoch’s modernisation reform in Norway as his most significant political legacy. 

“The most important thing he did was the modernisation of Norway,” she said. 

Health minister to decide on new Covid-19 measures

New coronavirus measures are on their way in Norway, with the health minister, Ingvild Kjerkol, set to decide on new restrictions following a rise in infections, outbreaks of the Omicron variant and parts of the health service nearing capacity. 

“There will be measures we will notice in our everyday lives,” Kjerkol said to public broadcaster NRK

“The situation is demanding, and that is the reason why we are now looking at new measures. We have a health service that is in full swing, and our goal is to have control of the pandemic, in the form that the municipalities and hospitals are able to provide proper health care,” Kjerkol explained.

READ ALSO: How could Norway’s Covid-19 restrictions be tightened this week?

The minister didn’t reveal any details on what could be announced but said that decisions would be made on Tuesday. 

Coronavirus booster vaccine interval shortened 

The interval between vaccine doses two and three for those aged between 64 and 45 will be shortened by a month, Norway’s health ministry has announced

The interval will now be five months when it was previously six. All adults with serious underlying conditions and those working in the health and care sectors will also have the interval cut. 

One in three think Covid-19 measures are too relaxed

A third of Norwegians feel that the current Covid measures in place in Norway are insufficient and need tightening, according to a survey conducted by Norstat for public broadcaster NRK.

Ten percent said the measures were too comprehensive, and just under 50 percent said that the current level of action was appropriate. 

4,117 new Covid-19 cases in Norway

On Monday, 4,117 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Norway. That is 1,240 more cases than the same day last week. 

As of yesterday, 295 people were hospitalised with Covid-19. 

A graph showing the number of weekly cases in Norway.
The total number of weekly cases in Norway throughout the pandemic. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health.