FHI: The reopening of Norway could lead to up to 200 admitted corona patients in hospitals

Camilla StoltenbergPhoto: Annika Byrde / NTB

The National Institute of Public Health (FHI) believes that the reopening of society will lead to an increase in hospital admissions in the future. But they do not think people will get as sick as before.

The government will probably initiate stage 4 of the reopening plan within three weeks. Due to increased vaccine deliveries, it believes it will be possible to return to “normal everyday life with increased preparedness” around mid-September.

Geir Bukholm, director of infection control at the FHI, told the newspaper VG that it is expected that more people will be admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 as a result of the reopening.

“The infection rates will continue to increase somewhat, and we must be prepared for more hospital admissions. We could see up to 200 admissions, but we hope we will not have much more,” Bukholm told VG.

Positive vaccination effect

Due to the vaccination coverage in Norway, he thinks the hospitals’ intensive care capacity will not face challenges that occurred in the past. The FHI has not set a specific figure for how many admissions the system can tolerate.

“We do not think the intensive capacity will be challenged in the same way as before in the pandemic. We expect an increase, but we believe that admitted patients will not be as ill as in the previous corona waves,” Bukholm noted.

Minister of Health Bent Høie (H) also didn’t specify the limit that society can tolerate when it comes to hospitalizations.

“The vaccines will help us keep the pandemic under control, but we must still live with the virus, as we live with other infectious diseases. It is not possible to remove the risk completely. This means that some will become seriously ill and that some will die of COVID-19 after we have finished the vaccination and society has reopened,” Høie said.

Uncertain numbers

FHI director Camilla Stoltenberg also commented on the expected increase in admissions in the future.

“The modeling until the end of August estimates around 77 hospital admissions – significantly higher than in recent weeks, but not a high number compared to earlier in the epidemic,” she said.

By the spring, the FHI estimates up to a few hundred inpatients in one of its scenarios.

“The numbers are always uncertain, but they can show a possible development. A few hundred inpatients is not a number that exceeds the capacity in the health care system, but it is not something we want, nor something we think will happen,” she noted.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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