– We must have ice in the stomach – VG

MORE FACTORS: You have to see the R-number in the context of the pressure of infection, and hospitalizations, says Oslo Health Councilor Robert Steen. Photo: Tore Kristiansen

Although the R-number in Oslo is estimated to be 0.7, Oslo Health Councilor Robert Steen is worried about an increase in infection after Easter.

Published:Just updated

In the National Institute of Public Health’s latest weekly report, the R-number in Oslo is estimated to be 0.7 since 9 March. That is, 100 infected people infect 70 others.

One week ago, the estimate was 1.3.

– If you go from a peak of infection in the right direction, it goes without saying that the R-number decreases. You should not look completely blind at the R-number, even though it is nicer when it is below 1 than above 1, Steen says.

Steen thinks that the R-number of 0.7 since March 9 is surprisingly low.

– But it is first and foremost a recognition of the people of Oslo’s efforts and the work they do to follow the infection control rules, says the health council.

Still, there is no reason to shrug your shoulders yet:

– We must have some ice in our stomachs. There is really no reason to relax but a reason to continue. This shows that the measures work, but we still have a high level of infection, Steen emphasizes.

He encourages Oslo citizens to continue to follow all infection control rules.

– Then we can hopefully see a careful reopening of the city after Easter. It’s us 700,000 that matters.

– Are you worried that the Easter holidays will ruin the work that has been done?

– We have so far seen that some groups have a more relaxed relationship with the infection control rules during the holidays. It is a natural behavior when traveling out of the city to places with other and less strict infection control rules, says Steen.

He points out that infection rates have risen after most holidays since the summer holidays.

– I’m worried that it will happen after the Easter holidays as well.

He emphasizes that there are now stricter border controls and that travel abroad is followed up better than before – and that one now knows the risk of the more contagious, British virus variant.

– It may make us more aware of the seriousness. It gives me some faith that what is the start of a positive trend can continue after Easter and that we will not get a new peak, says Steen.

– We are used to the fact that an R-number below 1 can lead to some relief in measures. Are we going to see relief now?

– One must see the R-number in the context of the infection pressure, and hospitalizations. The number of hospital admissions is on the rise and we have record high numbers in Oslo, says Steen.

Although it helps that the infection goes down, several factors must be taken into account in the big picture.

– I believe and hope that we can return to physical attendance at schools in mid-April. These are the arenas we want to open first. With the infection development we are seeing now, I hope that it happens, says health councilor Robert Steen.

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