The National Institute of Public Health (FHI) has uncovered eleven new cases of the English coronavirus variant in Norway. The infected people came to Norway from the UK in December or are contacts of such travelers.
Out of the eleven new cases, four have been detected in Rogaland, three in Viken, and four in Oslo.
Five cases of the new virus variant have already been detected in Norway, so a total of 16 cases have been detected in Norway so far.
This variant of the virus, called VOC 202012/01, is believed to be related to a rapid increase in cases in the southeast and east of England as well as London.
Eight of the cases are close contacts of travelers, and three have even been to the UK.
All close contacts with the exception of one person are household members of travelers from the United Kingdom. The travelers came to Norway in December.
The variant does not seem to carry any greater risk of serious illness, according to what the FHI now knows.
“We are now conducting continuous analyzes to identify viruses with mutations and to map whether we have more cases with the British virus variant.
“Those concerned will be followed up by the municipality they are in,” the department director at the FHI Line Vold noted.
“The virus is widespread in parts of the UK now, and it is therefore not surprising that travelers from these areas are infected with this new variant of the virus,” she said.
So far, the new variant has been detected in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.
In Denmark, a total of 86 cases have been detected with the new virus variant, and now they make up just over 2% of those infected.
“We are closely following the situation, and we want to delay the spread as much as possible,” Vold added.
She noted that if this virus variant becomes widespread, it could make the epidemic more difficult to control.
“In that case, it will require the use of stronger measures to keep infection rates down,” Vold warned.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today