Wednesday this week marks three weeks since the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) last received reports of a new corona death.
– The most interesting thing right now is that there are no deaths, says doctor Jacob Berild at NIPH to NTB. He follows the death statistics with a critical eye. Since the end of June, only one too two deaths a week have been reported. 80 percent of all corona deaths have therefor occurred by the end of last April.
– I would definitely expect the lethality to have decreased, says Berild. Lethality is how many of those who have contracted a disease die of it within a given period of time.
Gone past Sweden
However, infection rates have risen sharply in recent weeks. For the first time since April, Corona infection in Norway is now higher than in Sweden. In the last seven days, 1.4 new Corona cases have been registered per 100,000 inhabitants in Norway, compared with 1.1 in Sweden, according to NRK. 454 new cases of infection were registered in Norway last week, compared with 564 in Sweden.
In the last 24 hours, 92 new cases of corona infection were registered.
The worst outbreak has occurred in the municipalities of Fredrikstad and Sarpsborg, where 219 people have been diagnosed with Coronavirus in the last week. Around 2,300 people have been quarantined after the outbreak, which has touched several other municipalities in the vicinity.
Bergen is also affected by a major outbreak, especially among students at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). A total of 131 students were infected by Monday. This weekend, new coronavirus infections were detected in 78 new people in Bergen.
More testing and better routines
But the majority of new infections occur in the younger age groups, especially among those between 20 and 39 years old. This is one of the main reasons why lethality remains low, says Berild.
– So far we have not seen the infection spreading to vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, he says.
To date, around six out of ten corona deaths in Norway have occurred in nursing homes.
The situation is also reflected in the number of hospital admissions, which has remained relatively stable after the summer. As of Monday, 15 patients with proven COVID-19 have been admitted to Norwegian hospitals, one less than before the weekend. None of the patients received ventilator treatment.
Berild also believes that more extensive testing and better infection control routines have helped prevent the coronavirus from entering health care institutions.
– Infections are detected much earlier, he says.
In addition, far more people are now being tested than before, which means that more cases are being discovered.
– Had we tested the same number before, we would have discovered more corona infections, says Berild.
At the same time, new outbreaks that are not controlled can lead to the infection spreading again among the elderly and vulnerable. The latest weekly report from NIPH shows a slight increase in new cases of infection among those over 80 in the last two weeks.
– It is important to be aware of this. If the infection moves over to these age groups, we can expect an increase in the death rates, says Berild.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today