Oslo to introduce mass testing in schools next week

Raymond JohansenPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB

Oslo Municipality will start mass testing of students next week, City Council chief Raymond Johansen stated on Wednesday.

“There is no doubt that the infection rates are high,” he told NTB.

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, 400 new infection cases were registered in Oslo, and the average in the last two weeks was 238 cases per day.

“Fortunately, the number of hospitalizations is relatively low and stable in Oslo. We know from before – and from the rest of the country – that the admission figures could follow (the increase in the number of cases). So we must do what we can now,” he says.

The City Council is now working on the practicalities of mass testing. Johansen hopes the testing will be underway next week.

Hopes to stop the infection

According to Johansen, it is mainly school-age children who are infected now, and the infection pressure is highest in the age group 6–12 years. In the last 14 days, there have been 1,500 infected people in the age group 0-19 years.

The aim of mass testing is to stop the development of infection at an early stage and thus avoid more intrusive measures. The most important thing Oslo residents can do is follow general infection control advice.

“I can not encourage people strongly enough: If you are sick, stay at home. Take a test. Wash your hands often. Everyone needs to get better at this. And then there are a few left who have not yet taken the vaccine. I encourage them to do so immediately,” he said.

Wants to avoid intrusive measures

If the number of admissions and the pressure on the health service increases, the City Council will have to consider new measures, Johansen added.

“We’re working now to avoid returning to a situation where we must introduce further intervention measures. We do not want to go there, it has enormous consequences both financially and for mental health,” he stated.

– How long will you assess the situation before any stricter measures are taken?

“We’ll have to look at that. We are now doing what we know works, with (targeted) measures where the infection pressure is highest. Proportionality must always be considered. The burden on the health care system must be at a reasonable level. We must monitor it closely,” he noted.

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

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