Covid-19 epidemic in Norway could ‘disappear’ by summer

The coronavirus epidemic in Norway could end during the summer, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) have predicted.

“During the summer, we expect that the epidemic will more or less disappear from the country,” Department Director at the NIPH, Line Vold, told state broadcaster NRK

According to the latest figures from the NIPH’s weekly coronavirus reports, The R-number or reproduction rate in Norway is currently 1.0. This means that every ten people that are infected will, on average, only infect another ten people, indicating that the infection level is stable.

However, the end of the epidemic does not mean that the country will be completely rid of the virus. Vold still expects small local outbreaks of Covid-19, but no more big national waves of infection. 

“We envisage that there will still be outbreaks in some municipalities, but that there will be a much lower risk of any new regional or national waves,” Vold said. 

Norway has been through two major waves of infection. Some areas, such as Oslo and Viken, have been through three waves.

The current seven-day average for Covid-19 cases in Norway is 352. So far, over 120,000 people in the country have tested positive for the virus.

Vold has also urged people to continue following the rules and restrictions in light of the optimistic prediction.

It is important that we all continue to follow the infection control advice for a while longer,” she said.

Assistant Director of Health at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Espen Nakstad, told the broadcaster that he agrees with the NIPH’s assessment. 

However, he does not think that infection will disappear completely until more people are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Nakstad also added that a lot would depend on the wider pandemic in Europe.

“An important question is also how long such a favourable situation (falling infections) will last in Europe. New virus variants can spread quickly among unvaccinated parts of the population and potentially to vaccinated parts too,” he told NRK.

More than 1.6 million people in Norway have received their first vaccine jab and over one million are fully inoculated.

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