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COVID-19

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday

Found out what’s going on in Norway on Wednesday with the Local’s short roundup of important news.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Wednesday
Trolltunga, one of Norways most famous hikes. Photo by Dong Zhang on Unsplash

Government press conference at 1pm

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg will hold a press conference on the Coronavirus situation at 1pm.

In addition to this, she will provide an update on the progress of Norway’s “corona certificate” or vaccine passport.

The government hopes to launch the passports this month but are yet to outline how exactly they will be used.

The version of the certificate they launch will not be the full one, that will come in June and will launch alongside the EU’s vaccine passport.

Minister of Health Bent Høie, Minister of Culture Abid Raja, Director of Health, Bjørn Guldvog and Director of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health Line Vold will be present.

Press conference about Coronavirus restrictions in Oslo at noon.

Oslo’s mayor, Raymond Johansen, will hold a press conference on Coronavirus measures at midday.

The city council will reveal whether Oslo will be moving to stage two of its five-step plan for lifting restrictions in Norway’s capital.

Step two would see shops, cafes, restaurants, gyms and museums open. It would also see the return of alcohol being served in hospitality settings.

READ MORE: ‘Life as we remember’: Oslo reveals five-step plan for lifting Covid-19 restrictions

Record finder’s fee for metal detector enthusiast

The National Heritage Board has paid out a 200,000 kroner finder’s fee for a gold haul found using a metal detector.

The haul was discovered in 2016 by a metal detector enthusiast in Skaun, central Norway.

The enthusiast unearthed a gold hammered spiral ring with several rings hooked on, weighing 392 grams.

The piece dates back to the Iron Age and is one of the most significant finds of its kind.

The average finder’s fee from the National Heritage Board is 1,500 kroner.

Health authorities to hold test concerts

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health will run test concerts with a capacity of 5000 people, state broadcaster NRK are reporting.

It is trialling whether it is safe to carry out large public events with mass testing of the audience.

The trial events are being held with the aim of having events with a capacity of 5,000 by the summer.

The test events will only include participants aged 18 and 45 with no underlying risk factors.

Norway exports 8.6 Billion kroner worth of seafood in February

Norwegian fish exports rose by 338 million or 4 percent compared to the same time last year.

“Even though the seafood markets are still strongly affected by the pandemic, the value of seafood exports is the second-highest ever,” CEO of the Norwegian Seafood Council, Renate Larsen, said.

The CEO of the seafood council added that the rising price of snow crabs and salmon contributed to the increased exports.

484 Coronavirus infections registered

On Tuesday, 484 new cases of Covid-19 were recorded in Norway. This a rise of 85 cases compared to the 7-day average of 399.

READ MORE: Are Norways Covid-19 numbers on track for reopening?

This is an increase of one compared to the day before.

Total number of reported cases. Source: NIPH

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COVID-19

Covid deaths in Sweden ‘set to rise in coming weeks’

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has warned that the number of weekly Covid deaths is set to rise, after the number of people testing positive for the virus rose for the sixth week running.

Covid deaths in Sweden 'set to rise in coming weeks'

According to the agency, an average of 27 people have died with or from the virus a week over the past three weeks. 

“According to our analyses, the number who died in week 27 (July 4th-July 11th), is more than died in week 26 and we expect this to continue to grow,” the agency wrote in a report issued on Thursday. 

In the week ending July 17th (week 28), 4,700 new cases of Covid-19 were registered, a 22 percent rise on the previous week. 

“We are seeing rising infection levels of Covid-19 which means that there will be more people admitted to hospital, and even more who die with Covid-19,”  said Anneli Carlander, a unit chief at the agency. “The levels we are seeing now are higher than they were last summer, but we haven’t reached the same level we saw last winter when omicron was spreading for the first time.” 

While 27 deaths a week with for from Covid-19 is a rise on the low levels seen this spring, it is well below the peak death rate Sweden saw in April 2020, when more than 100 people were dying a day. 

The number of Covid deaths recorded each week this summer. Source. Public Health Agency of Sweden
A graph of Covid deaths per day since the start of the pandemic shows that the current death rate, while alarming, remains low. Photo: Public Health Agency of Sweden

Carlander said that cases were rising among those in sheltered accommodation for the elderly, and also elderly people given support in their own homes, groups which are recommended to get tested for the virus if they display symptoms. The infection rate among those given support in their homes has risen 40 percent on last week. 

This week there were also 12 new patients admitted to intensive care units with Covid-19 in Sweden’s hospitals.  

The increase has come due to the new BA.5 variant of omicron, which is better able to infect people who have been vaccinated or already fallen ill with Covid-19. Vaccination or a past infection does, however, give protection against serious illness and death. 

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