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

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Friday with The Local’s short roundup of important news.

Gol stave church.
Read about the government announcing a change to its infection control strategy and what health authorities have to say about current measures. Pictured is Gol stave church. Photo by Nick Night on Unsplash

Norway to announce a change in infection control strategy

Following weeks of rising coronavirus cases, Norway’s health minister Ingvild Kjerkol has said that the government will announce a change in infection control strategy. 

The minister said the change was coming after receiving a letter from mayors in western Norway saying that the current strategy was not working. 

READ MORE: The current status of the Covid-19 epidemic in Norway

“We are considering all measures at all levels now. The strategy that applied based on the reopening in September will be revised now. We no longer consider it pragmatic,” Kjerkol told public broadcaster NRK

“I announce a revision of this strategy, and then the Prime Minister will report to the Storting on Tuesday. Then we will make more assessments,” she added. 

In September, the previous government announced the return to normal everyday life with increased preparedness. 

Health authorities: Current measures not enough

The Norwegian Directorate of Health and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) believe that current measures to combat Covid-19 aren’t working, requiring a new infection control strategy. 

“It looks like the measures we have now are not sufficient to reverse the infection trend. This also has something to do with compliance, that enough people follow the advice,” Espen Nakstad, assistant director at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, told broadcaster TV2.

Along with the NIPH, the health authority has been working on new recommended measures, which they have passed on to the government. 

RS virus in Norway may have peaked

The outbreak of RS virus may have reached its peak in Norway, but the number of cases remains very high, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health has said. 

In its latest report on influenza, the health institute said that there was a decrease in the proportion of RS-virus positive samples in all Norwegian counties- except Innlandet, Nordland and Troms og Finnmark. 

The weekly report showed that influenza cases were quite low. However, it is still incredibly early in the flu season. 

2,970 new Covid-19 infections

On Thursday, 2,970 people tested positive for Covid-19, an increase of 544 on the same day the week before. 

Over the last seven days, an average of 2,375 cases have been registered. The corresponding average a week prior was 1,919. 

A graph showing the number of Covid-19 cases in Norway.
Pictured above is a graph showing the number of Covid-19 in Norway.

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For members


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

Find out what’s going on in Norway on Tuesday with The Local’s short roundup of important news. 

Pictured is Holmenkollen in Oslo.
Read about the interval between doses two and three being shortened and the death of Kåre Willoch in today's roundup of important news. Pictured is Holmenkollen in Oslo. Photo by Michael Ankes on Unsplash

Tributes paid to Kåre Willoch 

The former prime minister and Conservative Party leader Kåre Willoch passed away yesterday aged 93. King Harold, prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre and former PM Erna Solberg were among those to pay tribute to Willoch. 

“He was a very gracious and nice person who was concerned with people and political issues,” Solberg said. 

The former PM pointed to Willoch’s modernisation reform in Norway as his most significant political legacy. 

“The most important thing he did was the modernisation of Norway,” she said. 

Health minister to decide on new Covid-19 measures

New coronavirus measures are on their way in Norway, with the health minister, Ingvild Kjerkol, set to decide on new restrictions following a rise in infections, outbreaks of the Omicron variant and parts of the health service nearing capacity. 

“There will be measures we will notice in our everyday lives,” Kjerkol said to public broadcaster NRK

“The situation is demanding, and that is the reason why we are now looking at new measures. We have a health service that is in full swing, and our goal is to have control of the pandemic, in the form that the municipalities and hospitals are able to provide proper health care,” Kjerkol explained.

READ ALSO: How could Norway’s Covid-19 restrictions be tightened this week?

The minister didn’t reveal any details on what could be announced but said that decisions would be made on Tuesday. 

Coronavirus booster vaccine interval shortened 

The interval between vaccine doses two and three for those aged between 64 and 45 will be shortened by a month, Norway’s health ministry has announced

The interval will now be five months when it was previously six. All adults with serious underlying conditions and those working in the health and care sectors will also have the interval cut. 

One in three think Covid-19 measures are too relaxed

A third of Norwegians feel that the current Covid measures in place in Norway are insufficient and need tightening, according to a survey conducted by Norstat for public broadcaster NRK.

Ten percent said the measures were too comprehensive, and just under 50 percent said that the current level of action was appropriate. 

4,117 new Covid-19 cases in Norway

On Monday, 4,117 new Covid-19 cases were registered in Norway. That is 1,240 more cases than the same day last week. 

As of yesterday, 295 people were hospitalised with Covid-19. 

A graph showing the number of weekly cases in Norway.
The total number of weekly cases in Norway throughout the pandemic. Source: Norwegian Institute of Public Health.