Norway registers over 20,000 daily Covid-19 cases for the first time

A record 24,429 Covid-19 cases were recorded in Norway on Tuesday, the first time the country has registered more than 20,000 infections in a day.

Crowds of people in Oslo.
Norway recorded more than 20,000 Covid-19 cases in a single day for the first time. Pictured are crowds of people in Oslo. Photo by Nick Night on Unsplash

Norway has passed the milestone of recording more than 20,000 infections over a 24-hour period, just one week after it passed 15,000 daily cases for the first time and around two weeks after recording more than 10,000 positive coronavirus samples for the first time.

Tuesday’s figure of 24,429, a daily infection record, is 9,062 cases more than the same day a week prior.

Over the last seven days, an average of 18,110 Covid-19 infections have been registered per day. The corresponding average seven days ago was 11,180, indicating a rising infection trend.

Last week the number of weekly Covid-19 hospitalisations in Norway rose for the first time since mid-December, when admissions peaked, reversing a downtrend.

READ MORE: Why Omicron has caused an increase in Covid-19 hospitalisations in Norway

Despite soaring infections in recent weeks, Frode Forland from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health told newspaper VG on Tuesday, before the Covid-19 figures for the day were released, that it may be possible to lift some measures in the near future.

“The measures will continue to be relaxed if it goes well, and it seems to be going well,” Forland told VG.

Several measures have been eased in recent weeks, including a relaxation of the self-isolation rules and the lifting of the national alcohol ban. On Wednesday, Norway scrapped its rules on entry quarantine for all travellers.

READ MORE: Norway to scrap Covid-19 entry quarantine for all travellers

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, speaking to newspaper VG, said that the government wouldn’t rush into making any decisions when it came to Covid measures.

“Infection rates are rising, now they are around the 18,000 per day mark. It (rising infections)was expected. Admissions went down, but now they are increasing moderately. We have to follow the situation and make facilitations in line with the underlying (infection) control strategy,” he told the newspaper.

When it last announced an easing of domestic measures on January 14th, the government said it would reassess the national restrictions at the beginning of February.

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VERDICT: How well did Norway handle the Covid-19 pandemic?

Norway’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic was given an overall positive scorecard in an official commission report published on Tuesday.

VERDICT: How well did Norway handle the Covid-19 pandemic?

The Corona Commission, appointed to scrutinise the response of authorities and health services, on Tuesday published its final report on the country’s management of the pandemic.

The commission concluded that Norway’s response to the pandemic was generally good. The report notes that the Scandinavian country has one of the lowest Covid-19 death rates in Europe and limited the impact of the virus on economic activity.

Several individuals made far greater contributions than could have been expected, it also said.

“In the health service, state administration, municipalities and at several companies, an impressive flexibility and ability to adapt was demonstrated,” the report states.

Some criticism is included in the report. Authorities were not adequately prepared to deal with a pandemic of the magnitude Covid-19 proved to be.

The pandemic caused severe strain on a number of ICU wards at times and doctors’ services in local municipalities were poorly equipped, the report said.

“ICU preparedness at hospitals was not good enough,” the report states.

The commission meanwhile pointed out the vaccination programme as a successful element of the response but said the government should have been quicker to take the step of distributing more vaccines to areas with higher Covid-19 prevalence.

A broad range of areas are covered by the report, including its consequences for children and young people, which were found to be excessive.

Authorities failed to do enough to protect children from some of the effects of restrictions, despite this being a government objective.

“To put it a little simply, we can say that children and young people are worse affected by restrictions than by infections and that there is a difference between what you miss out on over a year when you are 16 compared to when you are 46,” the report states.