Worried about contagion in Oslo after Easter

Monday morning, the streets are almost empty in the capital. It is the second day of Easter, and many of the inhabitants are probably still or on their way home from Easter holidays.

Before the holiday, a test record was set in Oslo, and now the municipality is preparing for the pressure to be just as high in the coming week.

In addition to the usual test stations, the capital has also set up several mobile test stations at Ekeberg, Rådhusplassen and Greenland to meet demand.

Although health councilor Robert Steen (Labor Party) is happy that many chose to get tested before the holiday, the number decreased significantly during Easter. He is worried that the infection rates will increase again when people come home and get tested after the holidays.

ATTEND: At the mobile test stations, just show up, you do not need to book an appointment. Photo: Ellen Kessel / TV 2

Two every five minutes

On Monday morning, there were about five people in line outside the test bus parked in Greenland.

– It has been quite calm here at Easter, but it was expected since the numbers before Easter were so high. We are prepared for quite a few to come from tomorrow, says nurse Marielle Nyhus.

The mobile test stations are intended as a supplement to the existing test stations. They have the capacity to test two people every five minutes.

– You do not need to book an appointment. It’s just a matter of bringing identification and showing up, so that’s what’s so nice, says Nyhus.

Half of tests

Health Councilor Robert Steen states that approximately 24,000 people tested themselves in the capital last week. In the three weeks before Easter, the number was up to 48,000 and 49,000.

CONCERNED: Robert Steen is worried that the infection will increase after the holiday. Photo: TV 2

CONCERNED: Robert Steen is worried that the infection will increase after the holiday. Photo: TV 2

– 2.4 percent of the population tested themselves at Easter, and in isolation it is a fairly high number. At the same time, it makes up only half of the number who tested themselves in the weeks before Easter, says Steen.

Like the test figures, Oslo has also seen a decline in infection rates at Easter. From registering over 2000 infected in one week before Easter, the number was down to 1600 in the holiday week.

– Urolig

Steen believes it is too early to state that the infection trend has reversed.

– It is difficult to read the infection situation during the holiday weeks. Infection rates fell by 20 percent, but it is still the fourth highest infection rate in one week during the pandemic. Even though we have seen a decline, we are still at a high level, he says.

In connection with the test figures, he is worried that the infection will increase again after the holiday.

– It makes me uneasy when I see that the test numbers have been halved. There may be some that have not been tested and thus some infections that we have not been able to catch through Easter, says Steen.

SAFE: Ieva Zigure and her daughter will be on the safe side and test themselves before the kindergarten reopens. Photo: Ellen Kessel / TV 2

SAFE: Ieva Zigure and her daughter will be on the safe side and test themselves before the kindergarten reopens. Photo: Ellen Kessel / TV 2

Have stayed at home

Ieva Zigure has spent Easter at home in Oslo with her family. She has taken the trip to the pop-up station to test her three-year-old daughter before the kindergarten reopens on Tuesday.

– It is very practical because it is so easy to stop by and test yourself. My daughter has had a bit of a cough, so then we will test ourselves to be on the safe side, she says.

Zigure hopes that everyone who comes home from the Easter holidays will take any symptoms seriously.

– I have stayed at home during all holidays. We have seen that the infection comes with people who have been out and about, so I think that everyone who comes back should be tested, she says.

CAN BE MOVED: Pop-up test stations can be moved around the city as needed. Photo: Ellen Kessel / TV 2

CAN BE MOVED: Pop-up test stations can be moved around the city as needed. Photo: Ellen Kessel / TV 2

– Test yourself

Steen says that the municipality is preparing for a large influx of test stations in the future.

– We expect that there will be a push next week, says the health council.

Steen believes that everyone who has been good at following the infection control rules and who has no symptoms, does not need to be tested. If you have not been as good at following the rules, he has a clear encouragement.

– If you have been with someone other than your household and have some symptoms, then you must test yourself. It’s free, easy and very effective. This is how we keep control of the infection in our city, and make sure that we avoid an upswing in the infection after Easter, he says.

More bright spots

Extends the national measures: – Sees that the testing goes down somewhat

Although there is still an uncertain infection situation in Oslo, the health council believes that we have more bright spots to look forward to in the time to come.

– If we continue to be good for a few more weeks and the trend continues downwards, we can see nice openings of Oslo again soon. We hope that the schools can be opened for physical education already next Monday, Steen says.

The city council will then make an assessment of how society can be gradually opened up further, as the supply of vaccines increases.

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