Norwegian health institute sounds the alarm: “Corona pandemic probably increasing nationally”

Line VoldPhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB
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For the first time in several months, the so-called R-number is over 1 in Norway. That means that each person infected with the coronavirus infects more than one other person.

According to the National Institute of Public Health (FHI) latest weekly report, the R-number in Norway is now 1.26.

“The reproduction figures show that the national epidemic is likely to increase,” the report stated.

The FHI emphasized that the calculations are uncertain and that the infection situation is considered to be “relatively stable.”

“The spread of infection is still at a relatively low level nationally, even though it has increased in recent weeks,” the FHI added.

Ever since April, the R-number in Norway has been below 1, but at the beginning of July, the FHI stated that it was probably close to 1.

In a risk assessment presented by the institute in May, it was revealed that the R-number was probably already below 1 when the most comprehensive corona measures were implemented on March 12.

According to calculations, the highest level of the R-number was 3.1.

“Great uncertainty”

In recent months, there has been relatively little coronavirus infection, and few people have been hospitalized.

In such circumstances, it becomes more difficult to calculate the infection numbers accurately.

“It is important to remember that there is significant uncertainty to the estimates based on mathematical modeling, which are calculated on the basis of a small number of admissions.

Even though R is now 1.26 according to calculations, our assessment shows that the infection situation is relatively stable.

But there is every reason to be vigilant and follow the situation closely,” department director Line Vold at FHI noted.

During week 38, 711 people were reported as infected with the coronavirus, compared with 763 people in week 37 (27.5 per 100,000 inhabitants for weeks 37 and 38 combined).

High number of infection cases among young people

Five counties had an increase in the number of infected: Innlandet, Agder, Møre og Romsdal, Rogaland, and Oslo.

But in other counties fewer infected people were reported, and 266 municipalities reported no infected people in week 38.

“We see that most infections are reported among young people. The highest number of reported cases in week 38 in relation to the population was observed in the age groups 20–39 years and 13–19 years,” Vold added.

The FHI’s models estimate that there have been a total of 69,600–92,300 infected in Norway.

As for the R-number, the latest calculations apply for the period after September 1.

“The probability that the reproduction number is higher than 1 is 63%. The model expects between 0 and 160 new hospital admissions per day over the next few weeks,” FHI concluded in the report.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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