In the last 24 hours, 574 cases of infection have been registered in Norway. In other words, there is still a long way to go before the infection rates are so low that it is justifiable to start reopening, according to Nakstad. He believes we still have some demanding months ahead of us.
– We need well under 200 daily cases of infection to be able to start thinking about reopening at all, Nakstad says to NTB.
May take months
The last time we had a stable level with fewer than 200 daily cases of infection in Norway was at the end of October 2020, Nakstad explains to Dagbladet.
He points out that we in Norway have never managed to keep the numbers stable when there have been more than 150 infected a day.
– Not even with extensive testing and infection tracking. We now also have more infectious virus variants in circulation. Therefore, I believe we need well under 200 daily cases of infection to be able to relax infection control measures without it leading to a new sharp jump in the level of infection.
If we succeed in limiting the infection so much that the R-number falls below 0.7 in all of Norway, we will be able to do this during the month of April, Nakstad believes.
– If the R-number is 0.9, however, it will take almost two months to get the same distance down in infection rates. Most likely, there will be large regional differences in the spread of infection in the coming months as well. Relief of measures will therefore also have to be assessed on the basis of the infection situation locally and regionally.
Local action relief
FHI’s weekly report for week 12 – ie the week before Easter, calculated Norway’s R-number to be 1.0.
– Will it only depend on the number of infected people per day and have nothing to do with the degree of vaccination?
– Both the number of vaccinated and warmer weather with more time spent outdoors will help reduce infection rates throughout the spring. It is the effect of this that matters most, not how many have been vaccinated in numbers, says Nakstad.
To NTB, he supports health director Bjørn Guldvog’s claim that a reopening of society will probably begin no earlier than mid or late May.
Then it will first and foremost be a matter of easing local measures.
The fact that the Easter holidays may have resulted in fewer tests is a matter of concern to the health authorities, who on Sunday extended the national measures for another two days, until 14 April. A decision among others the Norwegian Directorate of Health had advised against.
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