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

Pictured are the snow capped mountains of the Lyngen Alps
Health authorities have said that Omicron variant may have already made its way to Norway undetected and the health minister has said that the government will continue to assess measures aimed at reducing the spread of Omicron. Pictured are the Lyngen Alps in Troms and Finnmark. Photo by Kevin Bessat on Unsplash
Find out what’s going on in Norway on Monday with The Local’s short roundup of important news. 

Health authority: Omicron variant may have come to Norway undetected 

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) has published a risk assessment of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, recently discovered in southern Africa. 

The report found that the variant may have already made it to Norway undetected. The NIPH also said, based on the limited research and information it has so far, that the variant was more contagious than the Delta variant but appeared to be less likely to cause more severe illness. 

“The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has not been detected in Norway yet, but there is a possibility that it has also arrived in Norway without it being detected. It is likely that the variant is more contagious than the delta variant and will spread to Norway, but it is so far unlikely that the variant causes more serious disease,” the report stated

Camilla Stoltenberg, director of the NIPH, reiterated that little was currently known about the new variant. 

“There is still very limited knowledge about this new variant. There is, therefore, great uncertainty about the properties of the variant and its further development. The knowledge will increase day by day in the future,” she said in the report. 

The government will continue to assess measures with the aim of slowing down Omicron variant

Norway’s health minister, Ingvild Kjerkol, has said that the government will consider new pandemic measures on an ongoing basis, with the aim being to slow down the spread of the Omicron variant. 

READ MORE: Norway tightens travel rules to limit import of Omicron Covid-19 variant

In a risk assessment of the Omicron variant on Sunday, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) said it was desirable to stop local outbreaks of the variant recently discovered in Southern Africa until more was known about it. 

“We have a close and ongoing dialogue with the NIPH about this development. The Omicron variant has not yet been proven in Norway, but there is a possibility that it has come here without being detected. We implemented several measures on Friday and will continuously assess whether there is a need for further measures,” Kjerkol told newswire NTB. 

Electricity price record for southern Norway to be shattered

The current electricity price record in southern Norway of an average of 1.87 kroner per kilowatt-hour is set to be smashed on Monday. 

The average price throughout the day will be 2.56 kroner per kilowatt-hour, excluding grid rent, fees and surcharges. 

When taxes are accounted for, most customers will be paying 5-6 kroner per kWh at peak times. 

1,721 new Covid-19 cases 

On Sunday, 1,721 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Norway, 251 more than the same day the week prior. 

Over the last seven days, an average of 2,572 Covid-19 infections has been recorded per day. The same average the week before was 2,055.

A graph showing the total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway.
Total number of Covid-19 cases in Norway. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

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