Immigrants have been overrepresented among those infected ever since the pandemic began. But in the last three months, the proportion has increased.
Almost half, 272 out of the 571 patients who have been admitted to hospitals with COVID-19 since June, are foreign-born, according to figures from the hospitals collected by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI).
Until June, one in three patients in Norway was born abroad, newspaper Aftenposten noted.
The FHI has now launched a major investigation to find an explanation for the data.
“It is important to understand the infection situation as a whole and why the epidemic has hit some groups extra hard,” department director Line Vold at the FHI said.
The FHI believes that this can contribute to better and targeted measures.
“Some groups of immigrants have few infected. But all in all, immigrants are clearly overrepresented among both the infected and the hospitalized,” she added.
Even though immigrants are overrepresented in the number of infected and patients, it does not affect the death toll.
Out of the 277 people with coronavirus who had died by October 11, only 35 were born in another country.
That corresponds to a share of only 12.6%. The figures are not age-adjusted.
Professor Esperanza Diaz, who works at the Department of Global Health Medicine in Bergen, says it is very important that this is now investigated more thoroughly.
“I understand that some people think that this can be harmful to immigrants because it can create stereotypes and negative attitudes. It turns out that this attitude is dangerous. We can not ignore this,” Diaz told Aftenposten.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today