Norway’s PM Jonas Gahr Støre has praised the public for their efforts in following national restrictions brought in last month to try and slow the spread of Covid-19, but cautioned that the virus would likely be a part of day to day life in the country throughout the winter.
“The measures we introduced in December and people’s efforts over the past month have had a good effect. At the same time, booster doses are being given throughout the country, but the next few months will be demanding. This is because the coronavirus will affect our everyday lives throughout the winter,” he told newspaper VG.
Støre also said that the public should prepare for hospitalisations and infections to rise as the country returns to school and work following the festive period, but some uncertainty remained due to the Omicron variant.
“Immunity in the population increases gradually, through vaccines and people being infected. But, the degree of uncertainty is still great. This is largely due to the Omicron variant,” Støre explained.
On the subject of restrictions, he said that the government wouldn’t keep them in place any longer than necessary.
The PM wasn’t alone in saying he expects infections to rise in the coming weeks. Espen Nakstad, assistant director of health at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, also warned of a difficult winter.
“High infectivity (of the Omicron variant) makes this a difficult winter in Europe. There is no doubt that January will be a tough month,” He told public broadcaster NRK.
“But, because so many people are infected or vaccinated with a booster dose, we may come out of this winter with better immunity, and that will help us out of the pandemic,” he added.