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

Health authorities say monkeypox epidemic is unlikely, a highway closure and a product recall are among the headlines from Norway on Tuesday. 

Find out what's going on in Norway on Monday with The Local's short roundup of news in English. Pictured is Sommarøy in Norway.
Find out what's going on in Norway on Monday with The Local's short roundup of news in English. Pictured is Sommarøy in Norway. Photo by Stock Birken on Unsplash

NIPH: Very low probability of monkeypox epidemic

The Norwegian Institute of Health (NIPH) has said there is very little probability of a monkeypox epidemic in Norway. 

“NIPH assesses that there is very little probability of an epidemic of monkeypox in Norway, but a greater probability of further spread among groups of men who have sex with men,” the health institute wrote in a report

As of July 25th, there have been 46 cases of monkeypox in Norway, 28 of those in Oslo. 

“NIPH assesses that there is a moderate probability that individuals in the general population in Norway will be infected, but that there is a very small probability of an epidemic of monkeypox in the general population, Elisabeth Astrup, a doctor at the NIPH, said in the report. 

On Saturday, July 23rd, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the international outbreak of monkeypox a global public health crisis.

Debate over what should happen to Freya the walrus. 

Despite officials ruling that a walrus which has received national attention since being spotted lounging about in Oslo, shouldn’t be moved or shot, a debate around the animal continues. 

Biologist Per Espen Fjeld told NRK that the animal should be euthanised as the Oslo fjord isn’t its natural habitat and will not find a mate there. 

However, Siri Martinsen of the animal protection organisation disagrees. 

“It is wrong to take the life of a wild animal just because you are annoyed by it,” she told NRK. 

After considering moving or even euthanising Freya if she were to pose a danger to the public, Norwegian authorities have decided to leave her in peace.

“She is doing well, feeding, resting and seems to be in good condition,” Norway’s Directorate of Fisheries said on Monday.

Highway closed due to landslides 

Highway 13 between Odda and Hardangerbrua will be closed until Wednesday due to two landslides in the same place in the space of a week. 

The road is the main road along the Hardangerfjord and connects, among other things, Hardangerbrua with Odda. 

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration has suggested three possible ferry detours. These are Kinsarvik – Utne, Tørvikbygd – Jondal and Gjermundshamn – Årsnes. 

Tortilla chips recalled

Manufacturer Paulig is recalling Santa Maria brand tortilla chips due to a chemical substance. Santa Maria organic tortilla chips with a best before date of March 30th 2023, or earlier are being recalled. 

Atropine and scopolamine, two substances found in plants in maise fields, were found in the product.

The manufacturer states that excessive consumption of the product may cause the recommended dose of these substances to be exceeded.

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For members


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

The latest on the electricity crisis and why dangerous weather alerts don't always reach the right people, plus other news from Norway on Monday. 

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

PM to meet parliamentary leaders 

Norwegian Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, will meet with the leaders of the other political parties in his office today to brief them on the electricity situation and explain how the government intends to deal with it. 

Pressure has been mounting on the PM for weeks due to record energy prices throughout the summer. 

Yesterday the PM announced the electricity subsidy scheme would be strengthened a month earlier so that 90 percent of the bill, which costs more than 70 øre per kWh, will be subsidised by the government. 

Tourists very rarely receive weather warnings 

Norway is a hotbed for tourists, with many coming in their droves to experience its stunning scenery. 

However, in the event of dangerous weather conditions, visitors are very rarely notified, public broadcaster NRK reports. 

“It is largely based on people having to follow along (with the situation) themselves,” the emergency manager at Vestland County, Håvard Stensvand, told the broadcaster. 

In the event of a yellow danger warning, there is a limit to how much local authorities can notify people by sending out text message alerts. 

“With the current arrangements, our experiences so far indicate that it is unfortunately not possible to reach everyone with this type of information,” Johan Marius Ly at the Directorate for Social Security and Preparedness (DSB) said. 

As a result, a new system will be put in place. 

Government pledges to increase electricity support sooner and mulls export restrictions.

Increased electricity support will take effect from September rather than October, meaning the government will pay 90 percent of consumers’ bills where they paid more than 70 øre per kWh for energy a month earlier. 

The government has also said it will limit foreign exports when the reservoirs are low to avoid other measures such as rationing. 

On Monday, the government will also decide whether to reconvene parliament early to address the situation. 

Freya the walrus on the move

On Sunday, a walrus that has captured worldwide attention after being spotted in several locations in Oslo this summer was on the move once again. 

The 600-kilogram walrus named Freya by locals was spotted at Vollen Marina in Asker pursuing a duck. 

Both professionals in the Directorate of Fisheries and the police have several times asked people to keep a good distance from the animal to avoid dangerous situations and stress for the animal.