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.
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.