Norway’s FHI: Closing the schools during the pandemic was a mistake 

Preben AavitslandPhoto: Tor Erik Schrøder / NTB
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The National Institute of Public Health’s (FHI) chief physician Preben Aavitsland says that closing schools during the corona pandemic was a mistake. 

“Closing the schools was a mistake and should not have been done. It was not necessary,” Aavitsland told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

He says it helped create the impression that the coronavirus was dangerous for children.

“There are very few children who have become seriously ill from the virus,” he noted.

FHI largely against closing schools

Aavitsland pointed out that the FHI was largely against closing schools during most of the pandemic. He noted that the FHI fought against closing schools. 

However, according to Aavitsland, several municipalities and the Norwegian Directorate of Health were more eager to close the schools. 

The consequences have been significant, in Aavitsland’s opinion.

“In several places in the world, there has been a low threshold for closing schools. What we see now is that children down to the age of two to three wear face masks or are to be vaccinated,” he said.

“At the FHI, we have always believed that those who are least affected should not suffer the most,” he continued.

Nakstad: Necessary to close schools

Assistant director Espen Nakstad in the Norwegian Directorate of Health rejects the criticism. He maintains that it was necessary to close the schools in order to reduce the spread of infection.

“I think most people agree that if the goal was to get control of the pandemic and limit the infection quickly, then closure is an effective measure,” he told NRK.

“Simply because it reduces the mobility of everyone in society,” he added.

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

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