Curfews and seclusion of municipalities will probably not be applicable when the health authorities determine, next week, which corona measures apply after 26 March.
“The measures are most likely to be extended on 26 March than to be phased out,” said Health Minister Bent Høie (Høyre) on Friday.
On 12 March, the authorities introduced the most stringent measures in Norway during peacetime, including the closure of all schools and kindergartens. These measures are valid for 14 days, until 26 March.
Throughout the weekend, the Directorate of Health and the Public Health Institute have been considering which measures should be extended, reduced or removed. The answers will come early next week.
“Exactly what may be applied, I can’t say. But I can generally say that curfew and that kind of thing in Norway, I think that will not be necessary,” said Acting Assistant Director Espen Nakstad of the Directorate of Health to NTB before the weekend.
Same effect as curfew
The measures that have already been implemented in principle have the same effect as introducing a curfew, according to Nakstad.
“For a curfew there are also exceptions, you can also go out and shop and go to the pharmacy and so on. But there could be talk of other things. There can be talk of grading measures,” he says.
Nor does Høie say that curfews will be applied.
“It is not so that we now plan for curfew in Norway. We see a very big impact of the measures we have introduced, in terms of people’s social contact and movement,” said Høie.
Distance and testing
The most important things are that people keep their distance, and frequent testing, Nakstad emphasizes.
“It is always a question of what measures can help to increase social distance and prevent the infected from contacting others,” he says.
Nakstad also does not envisage securing individual municipalities, cities or districts. Today, the infection is spread evenly throughout the country.
“Although there is a little more in Oslo and Viken than elsewhere, the differences are not so dramatic that it should be treated differently to now,” he says.
Don’t know if the measures work
Currently, it is too early to say whether the measures taken by the government have limited the infection, according to Department Director Line Vold of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
Namely, there is a delay in the reporting of infected persons, since it can take time before symptoms are diagnosed, before they are tested, and before the results are returned.
“It takes a few days before we can report cases of infection,” she says.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today