Oslo Health Councilor Steen: Infection will increase in the wake of the summer holidays

Robert SteenPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB

Infection in Oslo is at its highest in two months. It will probably continue to rise after the holiday, according to the health council, which nevertheless believes it is far from the upper limits.

On Tuesday, 72 new cases of corona infection were registered in the capital, 32 above the average in the last seven days. This is the highest daily number since June 5, when several outbreaks of infection among russ participants raised the number of infection cases to 93.

The infection has generally remained at a very low level throughout the summer, and the bottom point was reached on July 25, with only seven infected in Oslo. So now it’s on its way up.

“The increase is as expected. What is important to keep in mind now is that we are in a completely different situation than last summer when we saw a similar increase,” Health Councilor Robert Steen (AP) told NTB.

He pointed to the vaccination, which is constantly advancing both nationally and in Oslo. Two out of three people have received the first vaccine dose in Norway. 

More than 500,000 inhabitants have received the first dose in Oslo, while almost 250,000 have been fully vaccinated.

Expecting an increase

Robert Steen believes that the infection that is spreading in the capital now is not as dramatic and powerful as it was before the vaccination started. He also believes that one must look at the figures on the number of inpatients to get a better picture of the infection situation.

“There are about six corona patients in Oslo now, and the number has been just under ten through the summer, without a clear increase,” Steen said.

This week marked the end of the summer holiday in Norway, and many Norwegians are back at work after traveling both domestically and abroad.

“Infection is most strongly associated with travel. With the summer holidays and a number of travel activities, I think we must expect that the infection will increase somewhat. There may also be a small increase in the number of hospital admissions. But the oldest are fully vaccinated and well protected now,” the health councilor said.

A more normal autumn?

At this time last year, the infection rate began to increase in Oslo, partly as a result of domestic travel and especially due to a number of outbreaks related to home parties. The increase continued gradually over the autumn, and in November, Oslo introduced a social shutdown that was to last over six months.

But this autumn will probably be more like a normal autumn, Steen estimates. He nevertheless emphasizes that he has learned not to be sure about anything through the pandemic.

At the same time, Oslo is now very far from the upper reaches when it comes to infection.

“Hospital capacity is nowhere near being challenged now. The capacity for infection tracking is also very good,” he said.

“Last week, 20,000 people were tested in Oslo, while the capacity is around 70,000, so we are not close to the threshold there.”

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

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