Høie concerned about rising infection rates in Norway: “It’s important to follow the measures”

Bent HøiePhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB

Coronavirus infection rates are rising nationally and in the capital. The increase worries Minister of Health Bent Høie (H). But a normal summer is still within reach, he says.

“I am worried about the high infection rates,” he told news bureau NTB.

In the last 24 hours, 551 new infection cases have been registered in Norway – the highest number since January 13.

In Oslo, 231 new infection cases have been registered in the last 24 hours – the highest since November 19.

“We have had great relief in recent weeks nationally and locally for children and young people. This may have led to many also perceiving that other measures have been eased,” the Minister of Health noted.

“Important to follow the measures”

At the beginning of January, the government introduced new strict national measures. A few weeks later, strict “ring” measures were introduced in the Oslo region after the outbreak of a mutated virus in Nordre Follo.

Last week, the government lifted the “ring” measures in the region, and infection rates have declined for some time.

Høie emphasized the importance of sticking to the other measures in order to avoid new measures.

“Therefore, everyone who can still work from home should do so. People should keep the number of meetings outside one’s own household low, and all events outside one’s own municipality should be canceled or postponed. This applies throughout the country,” he noted.

“If we manage to keep the infection down in March and April, we can have an almost normal summer,” Høie said.

Mutated viruses on the rise

The more contagious virus mutations are on the rise in Norway, and the health authorities expect these will be the dominant variants soon.

The increased infection rates are challenging because they are probably due to the ever-increasing elements of more infectious virus variants, assistant health director Espen Rostrup Nakstad told NTB.

“There are several outbreaks that the municipalities are struggling to deal with quickly, including the one in Agder, and there is more infection in younger age groups,” he said.

“The affected municipalities are working hard on this, and we can still prevent a third wave of infection in the weeks ahead if we get control of the infection routes,” Nakstad added.

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

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