Health councilor Robert Steen with uplifting vaccine news.
Oslo is in its sixth month with strict restrictions, and with warmer weather ahead, many are impatient.
Unfortunately, the impatient must lubricate themselves with a little more patience, there will probably be strict measures for a while longer. Oslo City Health Council, Robert Steen (Labor Party), however, has some good vaccine news to come.
Only seven percent infected over 60 last week
– What I see from my numbers is that the power of the vaccine means that elderly infection in the city has been quite drastically reduced, he says to Nettavisen and continues:
– When we had 1628 infected last week, only seven percent were over 60 years old. I do not think so many have noticed, and it is a good illustration of what the vaccine does.
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The city council explains that the vaccine not only protects you from becoming infected, but it also protects against the transmission of infection between people.
– If you think that those over 60 have friends who are a little older and thus vaccinated, the risk of becoming infected is lower.
Steen says this shows that the elderly infection Oslo is on the decline, and that it gives him hope that when more and more people are vaccinated, the infection numbers will go down.
– We can see openings faster towards the summer when we see the effect of mass vaccination. Vaccines are often the way out of the pandemic, and while we wait for them we have to be as good as we can just to keep the infection down.
However, the outdoor pilsner has to wait
Despite this good news, it does not mean that all restrictions will be gone immediately. The alcohol service in Oslo has been closed since November, and it does not appear that the taps will be turned on in the near future.
– People want to hear the date and time, but it is unfortunately the infection pressure that decides when you can sit at a table and have a beer with friends.
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The city council says that an overall assessment must be made of the infection situation, which in turn determines when the time for alcohol serving comes.
– When it is, I honestly think no one knows. What determines is how good we are at keeping the infection control rules and vaccine – it is the two things that are crucial, says Steen.
Different May 17th
This year’s May 17 celebration will most likely not be as we have experienced it for so many years before, with the exception of last year.
– Now it is a little over a month until May 17. The infection rate last week was 1628, which is the fourth highest infection rate we have had in this pandemic. I think the probability is high that we will get a May 17 that is closer to it in 2020 than the one in 2019, Steen says.
However, he is sure that if this year’s May 17 will be more similar to last year versus 2019, then people will adapt and be creative – and create a good celebration anyway.
– It will not be as awkward as last year, it will be better. But it is also important to emphasize that I have no decision for the future.
The city council says that if there is one thing the pandemic has taught us, it is that the future is uncertain, and that it cannot be predicted with 100 percent accuracy.
– What happened last year was also difficult to predict. We shut down the country on March 12, we went into isolation and it worked. There were many epidemiologists who said that it would not work, and it really shows that none of us have much experience with this type of pandemic.
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As we now know, the isolation worked, and in the summer of 2020 the infection rates were low, and the restrictions far fewer. According to Steen, there were as few as 10 infected a week when the infection was at its lowest. In comparison, it was up to 200 in one day on Sunday.
In order to be able to open up, and thus travel, the number of infections must be lower than it is today. The Norwegian Board of Health explains that the reason for the decline in infection last year was probably a combination of strict measures and good weather.
But there is also an important difference from last year that must be taken into account, namely the British mutation. According to the city council, this type hits much stronger and more groups, and the population of Oslo has been hit harder.
At the same time, more and more people are being vaccinated, around 93,000 people have received their first vaccine dose in Oslo, and 35,000 of these have been fully vaccinated.
– During this and next week, Oslo will receive almost 40,000 doses of vaccine, and the more we get vaccinated, the greater the chances that the risk of infection is reduced.
The National Institute of Public Health has assumed that the entire adult population in Oslo has been vaccinated by the summer.
– Then it comes with holidays in a completely different light again. There is a race between vaccine and virus during the day.
Read more: Nakstad about a possible scenario without the AstraZeneca vaccine
Thank you people
– Is there anything you want to say to the people of Oslo?
– At the risk of becoming a bit boring, I would like to say a big thank you to the 700,000 people in Oslo who are basically extremely good in relation to infection control behavior. They take care of each other, and contribute to us being able to keep the pandemic under a certain control, says Steen.
He says that this is a great strain for many, greater than most of us are able to imagine.
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– On behalf of the city council, we would like to thank all those who have been in difficult situations. It is as I usually say, not a global pandemic we have faced, there are millions of tragic fates around the world that have been exposed to something quite a bit, the health council concludes.
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